Will appoint Lokayukta within three months: Nagaland tells SC

New Delhi:The Nagaland government on Wednesday gave an undertaking before the Supreme Court that it would appoint the state Lokayukta within three months.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which was hearing a PIL seeking appointment of an anti-graft ombudsman in every state, took note of the affidavit of the Nagaland chief secretary that the ombudsman under the Nagaland Lokayukta Act, 2017 would be selected and appointed within three months.

“Further, it has been stated by the Chief Secretary that the state of Nagaland undertakes to ensure that the appointments to the office of the Lokayukta will be completed within three months from today,” the bench, also comprising justices U U Lalit and K M Joseph, noted in its order.

In view of the statements made in the affidavit, “we leave it to the authority concerned to effect necessary amendments and to complete the process of appointment in the office of Lokayukta within the time undertaken that is three months from today,” it said. 

Earlier, the apex court was not impressed with the Nagaland government’s submissions in support of amendments to a local law to ensure the chief minister’s role in selection and appointment of Lokayukta.

It had also summoned the Nagaland chief secretary to interact on the issue of change in the local law governing selection and appointment of Lokayukta in the state.

The court is hearing a petition, filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, which has sought appointment of Lokayukta in every state.

It has also sought a direction to states to provide adequate budgetary allocation and essential infrastructure for effective functioning of the Lokayuktas.

According to the PIL, the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 had received presidential assent on January 1, 2014, and came into force from January 16, 2014, but the executive has not established a Lokpal yet.

The petitioner has alleged that many state governments were “deliberately weakening” the Lokayukta by not providing adequate infrastructure, sufficient budget and workforce.

The apex court has been also dealing with the issue of appointment of Lokayuktas or the anti-graft ombudsmen in 11 other states, including West Bengal, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Odisha.

The top court had earlier asked the chief secretaries of 11 states to specify the reasons for not appointing the anti-corruption ombudsman in the respective states even after the law was enacted in 2013.

Liezietsu to face trust vote tomorrow, HC dismisses his plea

Liezietsu to face trust vote tomorrow, HC dismisses his plea
Liezietsu to face trust vote tomorrow, HC dismisses his plea

With the Gauhati High Court dismissing his petition today, Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu will seek a vote of confidence at a special session of the assembly tomorrow.

Governor P B Acharya directed Speaker Imtiwapang Aier to summon the emergent special session of the assembly at 9.30 am tomorrow for the purpose.

Earlier in the day, the Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court dismissed Liezietsu’s writ petition seeking stay on the governor’s directive to him to seek vote of confidence in the assembly by July 15.

The chief minister had filed the petition on July 14 and the court had issued an interim order stalling the governor’s directive till yesterday so that the matter could be taken up for hearing.

After the hearing, the court today dismissed the petition filed by Liezietsu and also vacated its July 14 interim order.

Acharya had on July 11 and July 13 directed Liezietsu, who is facing rebellion by 43 ruling Naga Peoples Front MLAs led by former chief minister T R Zeliang demanding change of leadership in the present house of 59, to seek vote of confidence on or before July 15.

Zeliang, who was forced out of office in February following large scale protests over holding of urban local bodies election with 33 per cent reservation for women, had staked claim to form the government saying he had majority support in the House.

( Source – PTI )

Nagaland is in process of banning dog meat

 dog meat(PTI) The Nagaland government is in the process of banning the use of Dog meat as food in the state and directives have been issued to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to this effect.

The State Cabinet has not yet taken any decision on the matter but the government through a letter issued by Joint Secretary Obangla Jamir, has asked the Joint Director of Directorate of Municipal Affairs to issue an order to all the ULBs to give wide publicity to care for animals and also to issue an order to stop capture of dogs for the purpose of slaughter and meat, an official said.

The Municipal Affairs Department (MAD) have also been requested to stop the bazaars meant for selling live Dogs and its meat, besides giving wide publicity to treat animals with care and love, the Joint Secretary said.

Subsequently, MAD Joint Director and Head of Department, A Zanbemo Ngullie in a letter to the 23 Administrators of Municipal and Town Councils in the state dated May 3 without issuing any direct order forwarded the Joint Secretary’s letter to them.

Nagaland is a high consumer of meat products with dog meat being one of delicacies.

One Kg of dog meat costs more than Rs 300 in the state.

There are several hotels, especially in the state capital and commercial hub Dimapur, that serve dog meat.

Dogs are even imported from outside the state as dog meat is considered as having high medicinal value and high nutrition.

The official also said that pressure to ban capture of dogs for the purpose of slaughter and meat came in the wake of a legal notice served to the State Government by an Advocate from Assam, N M Kapadia under instruction from his clients.

The Advocate through the legal notice had noted that dog meat was openly sold as food, just as chicken and mutton while all the parts of a dog’s body are used as food under the impression that it contains iron and is the medicine for some disease.

Consequent upon the legal notice, the State Chief Secretary held a meeting with officials of MAD, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, Home, Health and Family Welfare and Deputy Commissioners of Kohima and Dimapur on March 3 during which a decision was taken to request the MAD for necessary action.

However, no proper directive or order to this has been issued by the state government and bureaucracy till date, the official said.

He said that considering the food habit of the Naga people, the Administrators of ULBs are also having serious thought on whether to issue such a directive.

Assam-Naga border case, SC takes note of adjournment plea

Assam-Naga border case, SC takes note of adjournment plea
Assam-Naga border case, SC takes note of adjournment plea

The Supreme Court today took a strong note to the submission seeking adjournment of hearing in a 27-year-old lawsuit filed by Assam in its decades-long border dispute with Nagaland.

“The issue is of demarcation of boundary and this is going on for last 30 years… We make it clear that no further adjournment will be granted to defendant (Nagaland) for examining the witnesses,” a bench of justices T S Thakur and R Banumathi said.

The bench then adjourned the hearing in the 1988 civil suit till September 7 on the plea of newly-appointed advocate general of Nagaland that he needed time to go through the paper book of the case.

Recently, Supreme Court Registrar (Judicial) Rachna Gupta, in pursuance of court’s order, conducted the proceedings in which both the states have either “admitted or denied” the documents produced by them in support of their claims and counter claims.

Earlier, the court had said that the border dispute between Assam and Nagaland could be resolved either by deciding the law suit or by referring it for arbitration.

The court had then asked the counsel for Assam, which had filed the suit in 1988 seeking relief including demarcation of its over 500-km-long border with Nagaland, to file the list of its witnesses along with their testimonies in the form of affidavits with the apex court registrar within three months.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, had referred to a report of the Surveyor General of India (SGI) and said the Assam-Nagaland border cannot be demarcated as the SGI maps have not been authenticated on the ground by both the state governments.

Assam and Nagaland share boundary and the border dispute dates back to 1963 when Nagaland was carved out of Assam’s Naga Hills district.

Nagaland has been demanding some portions that it believes “historically” belong to it and seeks “restoration” of all Naga territories.

However, the Assam government wants to maintain the boundary which had been decided on December 1, 1963 when Nagaland was created.