Assam-galand & Assam-Aruchal origil suits
By Our staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 22: To fast-track two cases related to the Assam-galand and Assam-Aruchal Pradesh border disputes, the Supreme Court has begun a series of marathon hearings.
Currently, witnesses from Assam side are deposing before the apex court and they are also being cross-examined by lawyers from the opposite side.
The Commissioner (border areas department), PCCF (forest & environment) and Assistant Director (Directorate of Survey) have already appeared before the court as witnesses from Assam. The DCs of the border districts are now deposing before the court. The next hearing of the Assam-galand case is on July 12 and that of Assam-Aruchal Pradesh case is on June 29 and 30.
So far, there have been 21 hearings in the Assam-galand case and 29 in the Assam-Aruchal Pradesh case.
After completion of the deposition of witnesses from Assam, witnesses from galand and Aruchal Pradesh will have to appear in the apex court. Aruchal Pradesh has already submitted a list of 40 witnesses it wants to depose before the court, while galand has sent a list of over 200.
The ‘origil suit’ on the Assam-galand border dispute was filed in 1988 by the then Asom Ga Parishad (AGP) government at the Supreme Court after galand government set up polling stations allegedly on Assam territory. A year later, a similar case was filed over the border dispute with Aruchal Pradesh.
The cases have reached a fil stage after all efforts – institution of a boundary commission, appointment of an interlocutor and an appeal to the contending states to sort out the differences – failed to yield any results.
Origil suits are State versus State cases, pertaining to issues like territory, water disputes etc.
Assam wants to stick to the constitutiol boundary, but galand wants to redraw the boundary citing historical rights.
Assam claims galand has usurped 59,159.77 hectares of it’s territory in Golaghat, Jorhat and Sivasagar districts. galand says these tracts historically belong to it. The boundary dispute between the two states dates back to 1963 when galand was carved out of Assam as a separate state. galand has been insisting on a resolution on the basis of history and traditions which are difficult to define. To examine such claims of galand, Government of India set up the Sundaram Committee in 1971, with KVK Sundaram, the then chairman of Law Commission of India, as its chairman.
However, galand government refused to accept the Sundaram Committee report for resolution of boundary dispute, though Assam government was ready to accept it.