Meghalaya High Court asks Government to reply to Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) petition

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A Correspondent

Shillong, July 11: The Meghalaya High Court on July 10 asked the state government to file a reply to a petition filed by the Harijan Panchayat Committee of Them Ïew Mawlong.

The Harijan Panchayat Committee had filed the writ petition seeking to quash the notification relating to the formation of the High Level Committee (HLC) by the state government.

The Harijan Panchayat Committee in its writ petition had expressed apprehension that the process of survey initiated was to dislodge them from the area. The petitioners had also sought for issuance of ‘Pattas’ to the residents of the Sweepers’ Colony at Them Ïew Mawlong.

During the hearing on July 10, the Advocate General Amit Kumar questioned the maintainability of the petition. Kumar, told the High Court that the term of reference of the High Level Committee in essence is to examine all relevant records and documents relating to the relocation of the Sweepers’ Colony.

The Advocate General said that after examining all the records the Committee is to recommend practically feasible solutions for the relocation of the said Sweepers’ Colony.

Kumar said that the words “practical feasibility solutions” suggests that the Commitee is look into all pros and cons and in the process shall have to take all necessary steps which may include right to audience to all concerned including members of the Colony in general and petitioners in particular, the Committee by itself has not to take any decision.

The Advocate Gerneral also informed that a complaint has already been filed before the National Commission for Minorities at New Delhi and some directions have been obtained.

Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, Mohammad Yaqoob Mir said that the submissions made by the Advocate General are in tune with the objective of the notification.

“Questioning the notification is not only the issue, the second issue is that the State respondents shall be commanded to issue ‘Patta’ to the members of the communities of the petitioners on the basis of the applications as already stand filed by them,” Chief Justice Mir said.
The Chief Justice directed the Advocate General to have instructions and to file reply affidavit on behalf of the state government.