SC advises Nagaland Lokayukta to resign
Nagaland Lokayukta Uma Nath Singh, the state’s anti-corruption ombudsman, was on Monday advised by the Supreme Court to step down from his position given the spate of controversies the former high court chief justice has been embroiled in.
An SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde suggested to the Lokayukta’s lawyer that it is better to give up the post rather than demeaning himself and the offices that he has held in his career.
“When there is no dignity in continuing, why go through all this and insist to continue at any cost?” the bench asked the former judge’s lawyer Vikas Singh, as it referred to the petition filed by the Nagaland government demanding that the Lokayukta be stripped of all his powers.
The state government has sought removal of the Lokayukta, alleging various acts of impropriety and unjustified personal demands by him. Its petition contended that the Lokayukta has continued to work online from Delhi even though the chief secretary did not approve of this.
Representing Nagaland in the court, its advocate general KN Balagopal submitted on Monday that the former judge’s assumption of office as Lokayukta had itself flouted the law because he did not discontinue his arbitration work despite it being an office of profit. Balagopal also produced records of cases pending before the Lokayukta.
The Lokayukta’s lawyer, on his part, responded that it was because of the outbreak of Covid-19 that Singh had insisted on doing his work from Delhi
But this argument failed to cut any ice with the bench, which included justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. “We don’t agree with you at all...”.
The case was adjourned for a week to give the Lokayukta time to ponder over his willingness to call it quits.
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