ITANAGAR, Aug 1: In a classic case of overstepping jurisdiction and infringement of business allotted to a minister, Tourism, Transport & Civil Aviation Minister Nakap Nalo recently issued an unofficial note, appointing an official from the agriculture department in charge of his departments in six districts.
In his note (UO No HM/TTCA/09/2019, dated 3 July, 2019) Nalo apprised the deputy commissioners of Tirap, Changlang, Longding, Namsai, Lohit and Anjaw districts to initiate necessary action, stating that he had assigned an agriculture development officer (ADO), Diwan Gamlin, to assist the officers of his departments (tourism, transport and civil aviation) in implementing developmental projects in the six eastern most districts of the state.
The DCs of Tirap, Changlang, Longding, Lohit and Namsai have confirmed that they received the minister’s note. Copies of the note were also forwarded to the agriculture, tourism, transport and civil aviation secretaries.
Interestingly, sources said the DCs of some of the districts hurriedly issued circulars in this regard. Complying with the minister’s note, the Namsai DC issued a circular on 23 July, stating that Gamlin, who is currently posted in Bordumsa, had been assigned to assist the officers of the minister’s departments in implementation of projects.
However, when the legislators of some of the districts registered strong disapproval, the Namsai DC had to cancel the circular on 25 July, stating that the cancellation of the circular was on the ground that Gamlin is under suspension (vide Order No B/DE/DOTCL/2019/123-27, dated 18 July) and inquiry and disciplinary proceedings are pending against him.
As per the laid down procedures and business allocation, a minister cannot issue such infructuous orders. It needs approval from the chief minister and the chief secretary, and should be issued by the general administration department.
The minister clearly exceeded his official capacity and misused his power by issuing an order engaging an ADO, who is not from his department, to assist his departments’ officers in implementing projects, without approval from the secretary concerned.
Further, it is learnt that Gamlin is under suspension over an embezzlement allegation, inquiry into which is underway.
Sources informed The Arunachal Times that Nalo’s note has become a huge embarrassment for the state government.
When contacted, Nalo said, “I am withdrawing my letter tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will send messages to the DCs concerned for cancellation of my note on engagement of Diwan Gamlin.”