Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton. Image Courtesy: The Hindu
Kohima: The Nagaland Lokayukta has ordered a preliminary inquiry to be conducted by the chief minister into allegations that Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton was involved in the appointment of over 1,100 constables in the police department in violation of norms.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has been asked to submit his report in the form of an affidavit before the next date of hearing.
The order was signed by the Lokayukta of Nagaland Justice Uma Nath Singh on Thursday while taking cognizance of a complaint filed by Vicca S Aye.
Aye had lodged the complaint against Patton, who is in-charge of the home department, on Wednesday.
The Lokayukta in the order directed the Coordinating Officer/Inspector under Nagaland Lokayukta Police Establishment to register a case of preliminary inquiry to be conducted by a higher authority, that is the chief minister.
In his complaint, Aye had accused Patton of offering candidates, who had qualified the written examination of the Nagaland Public Service Commission (NPSC), to approach him for help at the interview stage.
The complainant also alleged that Patton was involved in "rampant abuse of administrative discretion and favouritism and interfered in the normal administrative functioning of the police department".
Aye alleged that Patton had made 1,135 appointments in the police department without the posts being advertised for.
Patton was the Home Minister of Nagaland in the Naga Peoples Front (NPF) regime from 2013-18. He quit the NPF just before the 2018 Assembly elections and joined the BJP, which contested the state polls in alliance with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP).
He was appointed as the deputy chief minister in March 2018 and continues to hold the charge of the home department, beside other departments.
The Lokayukta directed Patton to file his reply in the form of an affidavit.
It also directed the Nagaland Police, in particular the Commissioner of Police in Dimapur, to ensure the protection of the complainant "who comes in the category of whistle blower", failing which, necessary legal consequences would follow.
On the deputy chief minister's statement in the just concluded Budget Session of the Assembly that the recruitments were made by respective District Superintendents of Police (SPs) and commandants of police battalions, Aye said he has also filed an RTI on Tuesday, seeking proper information on the matter.