Extension of assembly Secretary’s service not to affect others: Speaker



Kohima, May 31 (PTI) Amid resentment of other Nagaland assembly employees, Speaker Sharingain Longkumer on Tuesday said extension of service to Secretary of NLA, Dr P J Antony, was necessary and would not affect others.

The Speaker’s reaction comes a day after the Nagaland Assembly Secretariat Staff Association (NASSA) raised objections to the service extension of Dr P J Antony and arbitrary amendment of Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) Service Rules.

A May 18 notification had extended Dr Antony’s service by another year by amending the service rules of the Assembly Secretariat.

He was first brought to the state Assembly on deputation from the Lok Sabha secretariat as NLA Secretary for five months from January 2, 2020.

Dr Antony was re-appointed by the state government as Commissioner and Secretary (on contract basis) for a period of two years following his retirement from regular service.

The contract service of the present incumbent was due to expire on May 31.

The NASSA claimed that the Speaker had recommended the service extension of Dr Antony by another year without consulting the Cadre Review Committee or Service Rules Amendment Committee and without considering the interest of all the stakeholders.

Dr Antony’s experience in the Lok Sabha Secretariat and his knowledge of parliamentary functioning will help improve the standard of the Nagaland Assembly Secretariat, Speaker Longkumer told PTI.

The Assembly Secretariat already has good officers but we want to improve it (Assembly Secretariat) and that is why Dr Antony was brought in and his service is still required, Longkumer said.

We have tried to extend his service for a year, specially considering the operationalisation of e-Vidhan application in the March session of the state Assembly and we want its continuity, the Speaker said.

The NLA became the first in the country to have operationalised the National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) for conducting an assembly session in paperless mode.

He is doing a good job in all parameters and we thought the e-Vidhan project will be implemented properly as it was initiated during his time, said Longkumer.

On NASSA’s allegation that Dr Antony’s service extension would hamper the promotion avenues of other officers as the Assembly Secretariat has capable people, the Speaker said it would not affect the career prospects of others as we have already looked into the parameter .

Yes, I don’t deny that our own officers are getting trained and they are also well-equipped but there are certain aspects in which they still need to be more competent . So in the light of these factors, it is desirable that his services are extended, he said.

Meanwhile, the NASSA has filed a petition in Gauhati High Court challenging the May 18 notification of extending Dr Antony’s service by amending the Service Rules of the Assembly Secretariat.

Justice Songkhupchung Serto and Justice Kakheto Sema of the Kohima bench of the Gauhati Court on May 26 had issued a directive to the Speaker and Commissioner Secretary to file their affidavits within two weeks.

The copy of the order was received by PTI on May 31.

The court also directed that any promotion or appointment made in pursuant to the May 18 notification shall be subject to the outcome of the writ petition.

Longkumer said that the Assembly Secretariat is preparing its response to be submitted to the Court within the stipulated time.