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KOHIMA, September 24, 2018: People for Democratic Rights (PDR) has charged four senior officials of the tourism department of circumventing rules while appointing their kin in the department during their tenure.
In a press statement issued by its media and publicity affairs cell, PDR alleged that five out of the seven appointments made in the department were children of two officials of the department, one retired officer, and another official, now serving in another department.
Mentioning that the matter would be brought to the notice of the Governor, PDR warned of initiating legal action, if the State government or Vigilance Commission did not initiate appropriate action against the erring officials. PDR pointed out that though the entry level in the department was tourist assistant, two tourist officers were appointed by allegedly flouting all service rules and without getting mandatory approval from P&AR department and necessary clearances from Nagaland Public Service Commission and finance department.
PDR said that the department had stated in an RTI reply that two files containing approvals of P&AR and Finance departments were missing. It added that this in itself was a serious case and demanded appropriate action to be initiated.
The department has also been accused of flouting a cabinet memo order (no.CAB/2/2013, dated May 12, 2013) that banned all contractual and temporary appointment as the two tourist officers were appointed on June 4, 2016. PDR wondered how civil servants could supersede the highest executive decision-making body of the State to accommodate their children.
Though the department had claimed in an RTI reply that no appointments were made in 2016 as per official records, the organisation insisted that the appointment orders were issued in 2016.
The organisation further pointed out that though the department had claimed in the RTI reply that no attendance register of the two officials was maintained at the directorate, the department contradicted itself when it furnished an attendance sheet from a register where the two officials had entered their names at the end of the register in a serial manner. This reply added to the suspicion that these appointees were appointed backdated, it added.
And as the office of account general and accounts & treasuries department too could not furnish any pay slip of the officials since their appointments, the rights body wondered how the officials could work for years after joining the service without salary. It was, therefore, a clear case of backdated appointment misusing the office, it alleged.
With Nagaland Post inputs