Northeast

Manipur High Court stops eviction at Wangoo

Justice Ahanthem Bimol directed the concerned authorities not to initiate any eviction process against the villagers and other similarly situated persons (numbering 441) who are claiming the status of Other Traditional Forest Dwellers of Wangoo Gram Panchayat, Kakching district, Manipur without leave of the court.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 30 Jun 2022, 2:29 am

Manipur High Court, Imphal Photo: IFP)
Manipur High Court, Imphal Photo: IFP)

The Manipur High Court on Monday directed additional chief secretary (forest) and other officials to consider a representation submitted by 441 villagers of Wangoo Gram Panchayat on June 16, 2022 for providing the status of Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD) within two months.

Justice Ahanthem Bimol further directed the concerned authorities not to initiate any eviction process against the villagers and other similarly situated persons (numbering 441) who are claiming the status of Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD) of Wangoo Gram Panchayat, Kakching district, Manipur without leave of the court.

The writ petition was filed by eleven villagers of Wangoo Gram Panchayat, Kakching district stating that a representation had been submitted to the concerned authorities on behalf of 441 claimants who are claiming for providing status of Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD) of Wangoo Gram Panchayat, Kakching district, Manipur and that the representation has not yet been considered by the authorities till date.

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While, in the meantime, the divisional forest officer, Thoubal Forest Division, Manipur issued show cause notice on May 16, 2022 directing the villagers and other persons to give explanation by appearing in person or pleaders on their behalf on or before seven days from the date of receipt of the show cause notice with necessary documents indicating sufficient reasons as to why they should not be evicted from the land of Thongam Mondum Reserved Forest.

If they fail to respond to the show cause notice within the stipulated time, the necessary eviction process will be initiated immediately without further communication, the forest officer had stated.

Counsel of 11 petitioners (villagers) submitted that, including 11 villagers, a total 441 villagers have submitted their representation claiming for providing the status of Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD) of Wangoo Gram Panchayat, Kakching district as provided under the relevant Act and Rules and that without considering and disposing of the representation, the authorities have initiated the eviction process as contemplated under the show cause notice in a very arbitrary manner.

It also submitted that, responding to the show cause notice and apprehending their eviction, the villagers submitted the representation on June 16, 2022 to the concerned authorities of the government with a request for completing the verification process for providing the status of Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD) of Wangoo Gram Panchayat, Kakching district.

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However, without considering their representation, the concerned authorities restrained from initiating the process of eviction of the villagers from the lands presently possessed by them, the Counsel submitted.

The High Court’s AG and ASG submitted for disposing the writ petition by issuing an innocuous direction to the concerned authorities of the government to consider the representation and to dispose of by issuing a speaking order within a period of 2 (two) months and that pending consideration and disposal of the representation, no eviction process will be initiated against the petitioners.

Counsel of the villagers also agreed to the submission of AG and ASG and the HC directed authorities to stop eviction without considering the representation.

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First published:29 Jun 2022, 4:23 am

Tags:

manipur high courtkakchingOther Traditional Forest DwellersWangoo Gram Panchayatwrit petition

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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