PDA appointments: Rights group gives veiled threat of ‘legal confrontation’
Dimapur, May 8 (EMN): Even different political parties have justified the recent appointments made to the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA), the Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) on Tuesday clarified that it was not against the appointments made ‘to coordinate between ruling alliance party’.
A press release from the group stated that the government could appoint more PDA members if deemed necessary. “NPRAAF only oppose the unconstitutional rank accorded to the party functionaries as cabinet ministers and minister of state with salary, allowances, perks and other facilities – which comes directly within the purview of sec 21 IPC.”
According to the group, the recent appointments were against the Supreme Court’s ruling of July 26, 2017 which stated that Article 194 does not authorise the state legislative to create office of profit even by legislation.
The government’s action ‘amounts to outwitting the constitutional mandate contained in Article 164 (1A) which was adopted with a view to minimise the expenditure on office of profit’, it stated.
The NPRAAF will never the ‘endorse’ the state government to use the state exchequer ‘at will to sponsor the PDA members or any “constitutionally unsanctioned post” at a time when the state government is in deep financial crisis, the group asserted.
“NPRAAF has asked for detail information from the chief secretary office as well as parliamentary affairs, about the powers and functions of the backdoor ministers (sic), and salary, perks and allowances paid including any other facilities provided to the non-legislators made ministers from backdoor (sic) and under which provision of law they were given the rank and status of ministers,” the group informed.
It also suggested that it would be in the best interest of the state government to ‘cancel, suspend or rectify’ the appointment letters immediately ‘and serve the people meaningfully rather than engaging itself in legal confrontation which will ultimately affect even the appointment of advisors who are bereft of cabinet and minister rank and status even as elected legislators’.