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HLC seeks more papers from Survey, Municipal

Survey not to dislodge settlers: AG to Court

SHILLONG: The High Level Committee (HLC) that met on Monday sought more documents from Survey and Municipal departments before the next hearing.
“We met on Monday but we need to get a few more papers from the two authorities concerned,” the chairman of HLC and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said on Wednesday.
When referred to the case filed by Harijan Panchayat Committee in the High Court against the formation of the HLC, Tynsong said he was yet to know the direction.
The court had sought response from the government. “We will present our case and reply accordingly,” Tynsong said.
During the hearing of the case on Tuesday in the court of Chief Justice
Mohammad Yaqoob Mir, Advocate General Amit Kumar questioned the maintainability of the petition and buttressing his submission, contended that petitioners sought quashing of the June 4 notification related to the formation of HLC.
He also said the chairman of the committee has been given option to co-opt other members as may be necessary.
The advocate general informed the court that the terms of reference of the High Level Committee are to “examine all relevant records and documents related to the relocation of the Sweepers’ Colony, Sweepers’ Lane and Mawlong Haat”.
After examining all the records, the committee is to recommend practically feasible solutions for relocation of the settlement.
“The words practically feasible solutions suggest that the committee is to look into all pros and cons and in the process, it will 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 and the Committee by itself has not to take any decision,” the advocate general said.
According to the court, the submissions as made by the advocate general in tune with the objective of the HLC notification, repel the apprehension of petitioners that the process of survey initiated is necessarily to dislodge the residents of Sweepers’ Colony.
The advocate general has also pointed out that a complaint has already been filed before the National Commission for Minorities in New Delhi and some directions have been obtained.
According to the order, questioning the HLC notification is not the only issue, as the second issue is that the state respondents shall be in command to issue “patta” to the members of the communities of the petitioners on the basis of the applications as already filed by them.
After hearing the counsel for petitioners and the advocate general, while keeping in view the two issues as highlighted, the response of the respondents is required, the court said.
The additional advocate general has also been asked to file a reply affidavit on behalf of the respondents.
The matter will be taken up for hearing after four weeks.

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