NASSA & JAC call off agitation following Dr Antony's resignation as Principal Secretary of NLA
File photo: Nagaland Legislative Assembly Credit: Twitter

Kohima: The Nagaland Assembly Secretariat Staff Association (NASSA) on Friday began its two-day pen down strike opposing the appointment of a Dr PJ Antony, Commissioner and Secretary of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA), to the post of Principal Secretary.

The Association said the agitation is an expression of dissatisfaction over the appointment of the retired officer by the State Government under the establishment of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly Secretariat.

Interacting with journalists on Friday, NASSA vice president Rocus Rino said that the pen down strike was conducted peacefully with the cooperation of all Assembly staff.

He said that the protest is against the “wrong system” and the arbitrary amendment of the NLA service rules to accommodate the officer.

The staff ceased work on Friday and will do the same on Saturday. 

According to Rino, an interim court order was also issued till June 9 after a case was filed on May 25, opposing the amendment of the service rules. During the first hearing on 26th May, the government advocate sought two weeks.

He said that the court “clearly” stated that no promotion or appointment was to be made. Violating the court order, he said that the Assembly Speaker issued an appointment order of the Commissioner and the Principal Secretary.

He said that another reason for the resentment is the appointment of a retired person as an administrative head.

According to NASSA, which has nearly 300 members, they had informed that the NLA secretariat requisitioned the post of secretary from the Lok Sabha Secretariat when Dr PJ Antony was appointed on deputation for five months with effect from January 20, 2020, where he served as NLA secretary till he retired from regular service on May 31 that year.

He was then re-appointed as Commissioner & Secretary (on a contract basis) by upgrading the cadre post of the Secretary for a period of 2 years with effect from June 1, 2020, to May 31, 2022, by the State Government with the approval of the Cabinet.

With the re-appointment, NASSA had submitted a representation dated June 23, 2020, opposing the appointment, as it violates the Government Office Memorandum vide AR-5/ASSO/98, dated 15th March 2012, and also as such an appointment of a retired government servant affects the rights of the sub-ordinate officers and lowers the morale and efficiency of the employees.

Despite the contract service which expired on May 31 this year, the officer was appointed as Principal Secretary by the state government. 

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