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SC to conduct fresh hearing

SHILLONG: The final verdict on the ST status case of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma is yet to be declared as a fresh hearing will be held by the Supreme Court on February 5 next based on the plea of Tennydard Marak, who is pursuing the case.
The apex court ordered that the matter will come up for hearing before a Social Justice Bench after a fresh petition filed by Marak before the Court was taken up on Wednesday.
It was on September 18 that the Division Bench of the Supreme Court had disposed of the matter citing that there was no merit in the case which, however, was challenged by Marak.
Following this, Marak filed a recall petition (interlocutory application) against the September 18 judgment and the matter was heard by the Registrar of Supreme Court, who in an order on November 2 rejected the petition filed by Marak.
Subsequently on November 16, Marak had filed a fresh appeal against the November 2 order of Registrar of Supreme Court.
Marak had stated that his writ petition was dismissed on September 18 by the Supreme Court without hearing the petitioner in violation of the principles of natural justice after about 1 year and 4 months. The apex court had cited that it was not inclined to continue with these petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution.
However, Marak said that the power of judicial review conferred upon the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution is part of the inviolable basic structure of the Constitution.
According to Marak, Article 32 is “a great and salutary safeguard for preservation of Fundamental Rights of the citizens. This weapon as a safeguard must be utilized and invoked by the Court with great deal of circumspection and caution”.
After the dismissal of the case, Marak filed the interlocutory application in the Supreme Court for appropriate directions and to recall the order of September 18 while urging the Court to hear the writ petition on merits and decided by the Court.
The Registrar of the Supreme Court in the letter dated November 2 said that there was no reasonable cause for entertaining the application at this stage and also intimated that he had ordered that an interlocutory application should be lodged under the provisions of Order XV Rule 5 of the Supreme Court Rules,2013.
The Registrar also wanted the petitioner to approach the High Court of Meghalaya, which as per the petitioner is not logical since he had already sought the intervention of the High Court in the past.
Marak also pointed out that the order XV Rule 5 of the Supreme Court Rules 2013 does not vest on the Registrar the power and jurisdiction to reject the application for directions seeking recall of the order of September18 and restoration of the writ petition.
“The power and jurisdiction to recall the order and restoration of the matter lies solely with the Supreme Court. The Registrar has exceeded its jurisdiction by passing the order. This is an error apparent on the face of the record and the Registrar failed to appreciate that the pleadings in the matter are complete,” Marak said.
The petitioner, while stating that the dismissal of writ petition was grave prejudice and miscarriage of justice pointed that his counsel was heard substantially on the merits of the matter by the Supreme Court on March 20 this year, but due to paucity of time the hearing was inconclusive.

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