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Law students ask govt. to get serious with policies

By EMN Updated: Sep 04, 2017 11:31 pm

Campaigners list out imperatives

Members of the campaigning team pose for a photograph at Kisama village on September 2.

Dimapur, Sep. 4 (EMN): A programme marking the culmination of the ‘citizen rights and duties awareness campaign’ of Kohima Law College was conducted at Kisama on September 2.
The organisers of the programme issued a press release on Monday informing about the event besides listing out a number of policy imperatives that the authorities need to implement. The press release was appended by Kezhokhoto Savi, professor in-charge.
The campaigners have appealed to the state government of Nagaland to fulfil a number of demands:
The department of Food & Civil Supplies should effectively implement the National Food Security Act 2013 in Nagaland. Many deserving citizens in the state are not getting their due share either in the category of Priority HouseHold (PPH) or AAY for rice at the rate of Rs.3 per kg and wheat at the rate of Rs.2 per kg, the press release stated.
Again, the students have stated that the state government ‘is still failing to take up certain effective measures to promote and protect the rights of the consumers and awareness on consumer rights amongst the citizens is still lacking.’
Further, the students stated, the Food Safety & Standard Act of 2006 in Nagaland is yet to be effectively implemented: slaughter houses with required facilities, for instance, is the need of the hour to ensure food safety in the market, the press release stated. The analysis wing i.e., food testing laboratory under a public analyst and the enforcement wing i.e., Food Safety officers are to be more equipped in ensuring food safety for consumers, the campaigners stated.
Another issue that the group placed before the government was the Lokayukta. The Lokayukta is to be established in Nagaland to curb corruption in the state, the press release reminded.
“The council of ministers are just buying time in order not to introduce Lokayukta which is to check the corrupt public servants and politicians including some of them,” the students stated.
The campaigners have also demanded that the authorities constitute the state Human Rights commission for Nagaland.
Further, the stduents demanded that the authorities set the rules and criteria for the induction of state Information Commissioner.
‘The commission is headed by a retired chief secretary to the government of Nagaland and two retired chief engineers. The composition of the commission has a bias towards retired government servants,’ the press release reminded.
“It is desirable to have a more balanced composition so that diverse expertise is represented in the commission. Earlier the NVCO has recommended that towards this end, the process of short-listing candidates for appointments to Information Commission must be participatory and transparent, allowing public consultation and debate before a short-list is finally sent to the selection committee.”
The criteria used for short listing and for selection must be made public, the students demanded. The Right to Information Act, 2005 is to promote transparency and accountability in public offices, the group reminded.
Further, the group stated that every citizen has the responsibility to promote and protect the environment. The press release stated to educate the citizens of the state “how to learn and practice ‘Clean Election’” mainly for the forth coming state general assembly election is the need of the hour.
The Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation had launched what it called the public services delivery campaign during the 2016 Vigilance Awareness Week with an appeal to the state government to introduce legislations for effective public service delivery to the citizens in the state. “And the best part of this legislation to ensure delivery of time bound services to the public,” the group stated.
Another issue that the group listed was that of medical negligence. Medical negligence comes under the provision of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986, the campaigners stated. More awareness is required, the press release stated.
The students have asked the state government to introduce the ‘street vendors (protection of livelihood and regulation of street vending) Act of 2014, in the state particularly in the state’s capital, to “create a conducive atmosphere for street vendors to do their business in dignity and provide livelihood protection to street vendors.”
On July 14 this year, Kohima Law College’s LL.B students launched what they dubbed the ‘citizen rights and duties awareness campaign’ led by their professor in-charge Kezhokhoto Savi. Within a span of 45 days, the final year students of the college conducted various advocacy programmes in more than seven churches, the updates informed.
The organisers stated: ‘Keeping in mind rights and duties are equally important and every right has its corresponding duty the awareness campaign team had covered several topics such as consumer rights, Human Rights, National Food Security; environment; public services delivery; the Lokayukta; Nagaland State Consumer Helpline and the toll free number 1800-345-3701; medical negligence; Food Safety and Standard (FSSA 2006); Clean Election; RTI and Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.’
A highlight to the campaign was also that amongst 57 students, nine were selected to attend the Asian Conference for Law Students that was held at Bangkok, Thailand from August 11 to the 16th. The event was conducted with the theme ‘Redeeming law: Christian calling and the legal profession.’ It was organized by the Alliance Defending Freedom International & Handong International Law School, South Korea.
During the programme at Kisama, the team’s leader Kezhokhoto Savi exhorted the students to “remain a lifelong student and not to give up the curiosity to learn, keep oneself busy and never remain idle, be ready to help others life at all time and be happy with what one’s life either in profession or family life as everyone would run a family of oneself in near future.”
The team has expressed gratitude to the Police department for their help in lending the department’s bus to transport the team members. The campaigners have assured citizens that they will continue to spread awareness on citizen rights and duties even as the students graduate from the college, the press release added.

By EMN Updated: Sep 04, 2017 11:31:46 pm