Monday, February 26, 2024

Supreme Court accepts Nagaland Lokayukta’s resignation


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New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday accepted the resignation of Nagaland Lokayukta, Justice (retd) Uma Nath Singh Singh, after he sought safe and graceful exit from the state as one of the conditions for stepping down.

He also asked the apex court that the state government or others should be restrained from initiating any kind of action or “defaming him in media” based on the pending plea.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde acceded to some of the conditions set by Singh and directed he should be given adequate security on his visit to Nagaland to collect his personal belongings.

However, the bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, did not accept the submissions of senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing the Lokayukta, that nobody should be allowed to tarnish his client’s image and there should only be factual reporting, which should be confined to the content of the top court order.

“How can we can pass an order that there should not be any misreporting?” the bench asked.

Singh also contended that Nagaland government petition against his client should be dismissed, instead of being disposed of. The bench replied that it is not possible, as the matter has not been heard on merits.

On January 11, the top court had given a week to Singh to consider resigning from the post after the Nagaland government had moved the top court complaining against his unjust and arbitrary demands.

“We do not think you have been or can function properly with this kind of relation with the government,” the top court had told Singh’s counsel. It also disagreed with his contention to operate as Nagaland Lokayukta while staying in Delhi.

The Lokayukta, in a note submitted to the apex court, said he is willing to submit his resignation upon the dismissal of petition by the Nagaland government and set out five terms and conditions.

He had said that upon dismissal of the petition by the state, he will submit his resignation, as he is unable to continue “due to unpleasant circumstances and a very hostile environment”.

“That the Registrar General of the Guwahati High Court and the Chief Secretary, Government of Nagaland and Commissioner/Secretary to the Governor be directed to ensure taking custody of articles supposed to be handed over by the Lokayukta to his office, providing vehicles and other facilities as per his entitlement processing of his resignation if asked to submit to the Governor and safe and graceful exit of the respondent from Nagaland,” he said as the terms and conditions for the resignation.


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