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Manipur HC deletes controversial para on Meitei’s ST Status

First Published: 22nd February, 2024 20:20 IST

The High court directed that the direction given at Para No. 17(iii) needs to be deleted.

The Manipur high court has deleted a paragraph from its controversial March 27, 2023 order that directed the state government to send a recommendation on Scheduled Tribe Status for the Meitei community.
The order had led to massive ethnic violence in Manipur, with the tribal Kuki community opposing the court’s direction.
A bench of Justice Golmei Gaiphulshillu stated that the judgment was passed in a “misconception of law” as the “petitioners failed to assist the court properly at the time of hearing of the said writ petition due to his misconception of fact and law”.
Justice Gaiphulshillu noted that the order was contrary to the Supreme Court’s decision in the State of Maharashtra vs Milind & Ors, in which the top court had observed that courts cannot modify, amend or alter the ST list.
Accordingly, the High court directed that the direction given at Para No. 17(iii) needs to be deleted.
The now-deleted para in the judgment stated and I quote, The first respondent shall consider the case of the petitioners for inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list, expeditiously, preferably within a period of four weeks, Unquote
In October last year, the High Court allowed tribal organisations in Manipur to file an appeal against the March 27 order. Following this, an appeal was moved by All Manipur Tribal Union.
On January 20 this year, the Manipur High Court admitted a review petition seeking to modify its March 27 order and issued notices to the Centre and the state government, seeking their response.
It may be mentioned that the direction had led to widespread violence in the State, leading the Supreme Court to eventually take suo motu cognisance of the issue.

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