Nagaland deputy chief minister Y Patton
Nagaland deputy chief minister Y Patton|File image
NAGALAND

Nagaland Lokayukta orders preliminary probe against Dy CM Y Patton

Following a complaint over ‘abuse of power’, Nagaland Lokayukta orders registration of preliminary inquiry to be conducted by CM against deputy CM Y Patton

Medolenuo Ambrocia

Medolenuo Ambrocia

Kohima: Following a complaint petition filed by former student leader Vicca S Aye, alleging “abuse of power” by deputy chief minister Y Patton, Nagaland Lokayukta has ordered registration of a case of preliminary inquiry to be conducted by the chief minister. “As the complaint is procedural in order, the law has to take its course,” read a section of the order.

The order dated 20/02/2020 with file no NLP/SF/08/2020, a copy of which has been obtained by EastMojo, said that the Lokayukta received a complaint from Vicca S Aye alleging that deputy CM Y Patton “has proposed and offered to the candidates who qualify the written exams of NPSC to approach him for help at the interview stage”; that “while serving as the minister for home department during the past seven years had involved in rampant abuse of administrative discretion and favouritism interfering with the normal administrative functioning of the police department”; that 1,135 appointments in the police department were made “without advertising the said post”, besides other allegations.

“I need to proceed as per Section 8 (1) (a); Section 10; Section 11, and Section 12 of the Nagaland Lokayukta Act 2017 by passing appropriate orders”, the order, signed by Nagaland Lokayukta Uma Nath Singh, said. It also said that the complainant has filed his statements in affidavit along with a cash of Rs 20 as complaint fee, as per the Nagaland Lokayukta regulations.

The order said that as the “allegations relate to a high public functionary”, therefore “before undertaking an exercise of investigation, which is governed by the provisions of CrPC, which, if ordered immediately without complete verification of facts as alleged in the complaint, may have a cascade effect on the existence of state government”.

In exercise of the powers conferred under section 11 of the Nagaland Lokayukta Act, Singh directed the “coordinating officer / Inspector (Nagaland Lokayukta Police Establishment) to register a PE (a case for preliminary inquiry) to be conducted by the higher authority / functionary, namely the chief minister of Nagaland, who shall submit report on affidavit before the next date of hearing”. The order also directed Patton to file “his reply on affidavit to the allegations in the complaint”.

As per Section 35 of the Nagaland lokayukta Act 2017, the Lokayukta has directed the Nagaland Police, particularly the Commissioner of Police Dimapur, to “ensure the protection of the Complainant who comes in the category of ‘Whistle Blower ', failing which, necessary legal consequence shall follow against the authority responsible for such protection”.

As per the said Act, the provisions of section 11 of the Nagaland Lokayukta Act are:

“Section - 11: Provisions for holding preliminary inquiry

(1) The Lokayukta or Upa - Lokayukta, on receipt of a complaint or in case initiated on its own motion, may, before proceeding to investigate such complaint or case, make such preliminary inquiry or direct any other person so authorized to make such preliminary inquiry as he deems fit. If on such preliminary inquiry, he finds that there exists no such ground he shall record a finding to that effect and thereupon the matter shall be closed and the complainant shall be informed accordingly.

(2) The procedure for verification in respect of a complaint under sub-section (1) shall be such as the Lokayukta or Upa - Lokayukta deems appropriate in the circumstances of the case and he may, if he deems it necessary so to do, call for the comments of the public functionary concerned. "

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