Gauhati HC restricts distribution of materials to beneficiaries under CM’s special package
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Feb 9: With the assembly elections round the corner, the ruling Congress suffered a major blow with the Gauhati High Court on Tuesday restricting the State government’s scheme of distributing yarn, blankets, tractors and power tillers among beneficiaries.
Hearing a PIL filed by the NGO Assam Public Works, the High Court ordered the government to stop distribution of the materials being distributed by the Handloom & Textile department and the Agriculture department under Chief Minister’s Special Package.
It may be mentioned that in each constituency, the scheme involved distribution of yarn for 12,500 beneficiaries and blankets for 7,500 beneficiaries, as well as 10 tractors and 20 power tillers.
However, the APW complained to the court that no proper guidelines were issued in this regard by the government and no advertisement was taken out calling for selection of beneficiaries.
Hearing the PIL, Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Manjit Bhuyan ordered the State government to immediately call off the distribution of materials. However, the High Court maintained there will be no calling back of materials already distributed, while ordering the government not to go ahead with any further distribution.
Directing the State government to take out advertisements in at least four leading dailies of the State, the High Court ordered the government to initiate the beneficiary scheme afresh. It also directed the government to file an affidavit in the court within February 11. The court fixed the next hearing on March 14.
With the State heading for assembly election shortly and the notification likely to be out by the first half of next month, it is likely that the government will not be able to restart the pending distribution of materials among beneficiaries in this term.
Advocate General AC Buragohain and senior advocate Ra Mukherjee represented the State government in the court while senior advocate Debajit Saikia argued on behalf of APW.