Says CM's image getting 'unfair bashing'
The ruling NPF has dismissed the controversy over the educational qualification of Chief Minister TR Zeliang raised by the State Congress party as a "non-issue" on the contention that qualification is not a requirement or a criteria for someone to enter into politics and serve the people.
"Let no one make mountains out of a mole hill, nor make a non-issue into an issue whereby we waste precious time," said a press note issued by Yanger Jamir, Public Relations Officer of NPF Central Office.
The NPF was reacting to the State Congress demand to the Governor of Nagaland to immediately set up an inquiry committee into the education qualification of the Chief Minister.
The Congress charge is that the Chief Minister had furnished "false information" in the affidavit in Form-26 that he has passed B.A in 1980 while filing his nomination paper before the returning officer for election to the 12th Nagaland Legislative Assembly from 7 Peren (ST) Assembly Constituency.
The Congress claims that documents got through RTI from competent authority indicate that TR Zeliang appeared B.A from Kohima College under NEHU in 1979 and failed and he did not appear B.A Examination in 1980.
The NPF PRO informed that the Kohima Bench of Guwahati High Court had closed a writ petition (civil) on the issue filed by petitioners Maziezokho Nisa and Rokovisie Rino praying for issuing direction to SP Kohima and OC Kohima North Police Station for registering the FIR filed by the petitioners with the OC North PS on September 8, 2015.
The petitioners alleged that false information was furnished to the EC and was liable to be punished with imprisonment under section 125-A of The Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 and under various sections of the IPC including 468.
The Court in its hearing of the case on October 1, 2015, observed that in the information furnished by the petitioners there is no allegation as to committing forgery by Shri TR Zeliang although Section 468 has been mentioned at the end of the information.
"Mere mentioning of section cannot be construed to have disclosed the ingredients of the section unless by furnishing material facts ingredients of the section are disclosed. Addition of section 468 IPC, therefore, cannot lead to a presumption that the information furnished by the petitioners contained allegations of cognizable offence," it said.
The NPF informed that the Court opined that the petitioners have not "disclosed commission of any cognizable offence" and ruled that even if wrong information was furnished to the Election Commission, it still does not come under the ambit of a cognizable offence and also "in view of the provision of Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as well as the law laid down by the Constituent Bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Lalita Kumari [Vrs Government of UP, reported in (2014) 2 SCC 1], no direction can be given to Police for registering a case on the basis of such information. The writ petition, therefore, is devoid of any merit. It is, accordingly, closed."
The NPF regretted that as soon as the matter was rejected by the High Court, the NPCC has now approached the Governor.
"This is most irregular, but at the same time, clearly shows the determination of some people to embarrass the Chief Minister in any manner possible. If at all the NPCC is interested to get to the bottom of the matter, they should have followed or pursued the matter in the right perspective instead of fooling the people on the streets with their antics. It is very unfortunate how some people stoop to gain some brownie political points," it said.
Stating that no Chief Minister in the history of Nagaland has been harassed like the present Chief Minister by various elements in the society for their vested interests in the last two years or so since he assumed office, the NPF expressed disappointment that these harassments are being meted out to him (CM) for narrow political interests resulting in his image getting an unfair bashing.
"But then, truth will prevail as in the past when perpetrators of such misadventures have been compelled to retract and apologise," the NPF said.
"My humble appeal to the friends in the Congress party would be that rather than getting stuck to a single tune like a spoilt record player it would be better if we are to put our heads together to serve the people in many more beneficial ways," it added.