A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Gauhati High Court Kohima Bench with matters relating to non-construction of infrastructures at Longleng District Jail, as there is no jail in the district to date, despite work orders being issued in 2006.

The PIL, filed through the assistance of the Nagaland State Legal Services Authority (NSLSA) Panel Lawyer, prayed for “issuance of appropriate order or direction directing the respondents to complete the construction of the District Jail at Longleng for which the work orders were issued in 2006 and also to constitute an enquiry committee under the supervision of this Court for enquiry/investigation into the utilisation or misusage of funds sanctioned for construction of the jail.”

The PIL stated that since February 2, 2006, numerous work orders were awarded to two private parties by the state government for the construction of Longleng District Jail. Despite enormous amounts of public money running into Crores of rupees being withdrawn for such constructions, it said that till date the said jail construction has not been completed resulting in violation of prisoners’ rights, denial of speedy trial and various inconveniences to the justice delivery system.

The NSLSA informed that the representation was made to the parties, but the same only yielded empty assurances.

“Mentioned may be made that Longleng District is the only district in the state that does not have a Jail till date for which Under Trail Prisoners (UTPs) and convicts are lodged in at Mokokchung District Jail which takes two to three hours to traverse between the district headquarters,” it said.

Ever since the first work order was sanctioned from February 2, 2006, to date, it said that more than 20 orders have been sanctioned to the parties.

A division bench of the Court of Justice Songkhupchung Serto and Justice S. Hukato Swu first heard the matter on August 4 and listed the matter again after five weeks. During the period, the respondents including State Nagaland government authorities have been asked to take cognizance of the notice.

As for the private parties who were made respondents to the case, the petitioners in this regard were allowed to serve the notice through newspaper publication. “They shall do so by publishing the notice in two local dailies for two consecutive days making the same returnable on or before 08.09.2021.,” the court order stated.

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