By: Mohd Amir
After reading the draft bill, Para 9 may create more doubts and problems in near future.
Para 9 “ No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against any officer of the State Government for anything which is good faith done or intended to be done under this act”.
This ambiguous statement may create more troubles in near future in implementation of the bill. This clause doesn’t give any remedy for grievance redressal. We, human beings are bound to make mistakes. Even District Judges, High Court Judges gives erroneous judgements which go against the principle of natural justice. This is the reason why we have the process of Appeals. We can appeal to higher authority to get justice.
But the para 9 of the said bill prevented us from going anywhere when we are harassed by State Officials. Nepotism, Communalism, Corruption are deeply engraved inside the Machinery of State Government and State Politics. In such environment, citizens are harassed on day to day basis by those people who are in power. Even we are being harassed by VDF, Police personnel who are answerable to the rule of law.Also, conditions of Manipur is not conducive to development. Bandh, Blockades, Disturbances, Threats, Gun culture etc. are our tradition.
In this condition, how can we expect a State Government Official to discharge his duties wholeheartedly and without any bias. In his course of action, he commits mistakes and will surely commit mistakes in order to fulfill the immediate requirements. When Officials commit mistakes, ultimate sufferer is the normal people. Officials may act against local/non local people. A tribe from Nagaland/Mizoram may suffer in the hands of Meetei Officials. A Bihari visitor may be manhandled by State Officials. A Muslim from other states/countries who comes on religious tour may be harassed by a Meetei Official A local Manipuri may be harassed by State Officials for non compliance of rules. We can imagine in a number of ways because duties , power and functions of State Officials are not clearly spelt out. Where will we go and submit our grievances when the Bill has already given immunity to State Official in good faith ? In AFSPA 1958, Officers/Jawans can shoot anybody who he thinks terrorist, because he is being given immunity from prosecution. it seems that, due to long rule of AFSPA, our mind has started working on the lines of AFSPA !!
So, instead of giving immunity to erring officials, it will be better to delete the said para. Instead, a mechanism for grievance redressal may be added.
9 “ Any aggrieved person, Local/Non local, who feels victimized or suffered in the hands of Directorate Officials may submit their grievance in writing to the Director within 15 days from the date of occurrence of incidents/accidents”