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Fri, 21 Feb 2020

Northeast Today

Anti-graft body wants strong Lokayukta in Nagaland

Anti-graft body wants strong Lokayukta in Nagaland
December 09
09:16 2019

NET Bureau

The Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) Nagaland, an anti-graft group, has called for a strong Lokayukta in the State.
It also suggested certain measures to enable the anti-corruption ombudsman to serve its purpose.
The media cell of the group issued a press release demanding that Nagaland Lokayukta Justice Uma Nath Singh be empowered to select the Upa-Lokayukta to take up the difficult task of tackling corruption in the State.

It rued that formation of the Lokayukta in the State is yet to be complete even after nearly one year of its creation.

The group said the Lokayukta must comprise composite police cadres from paramilitary forces, CBI and Assam Rifles to conduct covert operations and raids without any compromise. It said Nagaland being a small and close-knit society, investigation of corruption cases is often compromised.

It also demanded revocation of the Nagaland Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which was passed by the Nagaland Assembly on February 23. The group said the amendment gave overriding and sweeping powers to the Nagaland Chief Minister to selectively choose the corruption-related cases for exemption and investigation.

“The amendment emasculated the Lokayukta and defeated the very purpose of its creation. The amendment must be revoked,” it said.

ACAUT said that through the amendment, Section 32-A was inserted which states that “in all cases where there are difficulties experienced in the implementation of this Act, provisions in this Act and the Rules made thereunder shall be relaxed to the extent desirable by the Chief Minister.”

It said despite a huge amount of money released by the Centre for development and uplift of the people, lakhs of Nagas are still living below the poverty line with the average household living a hand-to-mouth life every day.

Corruption has totally ruined the socio-economic and the moral fabric of Naga society and the ill-gotten wealth is considered a blessing now, it said.

Noting that Nagaland lags far behind the rest of the country and other northeastern States, the anti-corruption group said corruption was deep-rooted and pervasive, crippling everything and becoming an accepted norm and a way of life.

The group said it was a fact that zero corruption is nearly impossible to achieve in Nagaland but added that drastic measures and zero tolerance to corruption may salvage Nagaland

Source: The Assam Tribune

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