Nagaland Lokayukta (Amendment) Act 2019 came into force on February 22 last year  Credit: Representational image

Kohima: In the first annual report of the Nagaland Lokayukta 2019-20, Justice Uma Nath Singh, Lokayukta, former chief justice of High court of Meghalaya, said that there is an urgent need for the creation of a separate high court for the state.

In the preface of the report, Nagaland Lokayukta said that there is “urgent need for the creation of a separate high court for the state of Nagaland, without waiting for completion of new building said to be under construction”.

“Looking to meagre pendency of cases before Kohima Bench and presence of two or three judges at a time, the High court can be temporarily housed in the existing building and can start functioning with Chief justice and two judges for the present,” said the Lokayukta.

He further said: “Unless there is a separate High court for Nagaland, the local bar will never grow and the people may be hesitant to agitate serious constitutional and legal issues due to apprehension that such matters can be shifted to Principal Bench at Gauhati on account of administrative exigencies. Easy access to Constitutional Courts is one of the sailent features of Rule of Law.”

He clarified that the deferment of submission of property statement amounts to suspension of provisions of Section 31 of the Nagaland Lokayukta Act 2017 which falls under the domain of the state legislature. He added that undertaking of such exercises is “completely missing in the order of chief secretary” that was sent to him. “I am sorry to say that such an order can be termed invalid ab initio,” he added.

The Lokayukta also pointed that “need based demands” for requisites were raised from time to time. He said that if this issues are not addressed within a time frame without being “entangled and held up in red-tapism, the purpose and objectives of the Nagaland Lokayukta Act shall stand defeated”.

He added that in the absence of court rooms for Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta, 111 sittings in the Lokayukta’s chamber on judicial side were held and has even passed appropriate orders. Likewise, the Upa-Lokayukta also held 18 sittings, he added.

Police organisation managing without weapon, forensic lab:

The Lokayukta said that the “hands of Nagaland police establishment are full with as many as eighty eight (88) cases pending at different stages of inquiry/investigation”.

“The police organisation is somehow managing to work without any weapon, without a forensic laboratory, without a cyber cell, and only with inadequate manpower, shortage of vehicles for travel to remote places, a small town man technical team, and also acute shortage of space,” he said.

Above all, the Nagaland Lokayukta has recovered an amount of Rs 26,14,341 during one year on conclusion of some inquiries/investigations.

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