The Meghalaya High Court has temporarily stopped erection of boundary pillars in areas where Meghalaya and Assam have signed a border settlement agreement in the first phase.
The bench of Justice Hamarsan Singh Thangkhiew passed the order today on a miscellaneous writ petition filed by Syiem of Hima Jirang R Hamberly Wahlang, Acting Syiem of Hima Mylliem Ainam Manik Syiem, Sirdar of Nonglang Sirdarship Phoslasly Nianglang and Acting Syiem of Hima Nongspung Erald Jyrwa.
The four petitioners in their miscellaneous writ petition sought for a stay of the operation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) dated March 29, 2022 entered into between Meghalaya and Assam.
Their lawyer P Sharma told the High Court that in the event the demarcation is carried out physically and boundary marks are placed on the ground as per the MoU, the entire writ petition will be rendered infructuous, and they will be without any remedy.
Advocate General Amit Kumar assisted by State government lawyer Arkinshngain Haniel Kharwanlang, informed the court that no interim orders are needed at this stage as firstly, the locus of the petitioner has not been established and further no irreparable loss would be caused to the petitioners, in the event the MoU is carried forward.
Looking into the nature of the matter and the submissions made by the Advocate General, the High Court said that it appeared that an objection in the form of an affidavit is necessary to be filed to enable the court to consider the plea by the four petitioners for interim order.
The High Court therefore allowed the Advocate General to file objections to the plea for interim order and to the maintainability of the writ petition.
While listing the miscellaneous writ petition matter for hearing on February 6, 2023 together with WP(C) No. 480 of 2022, the High Court said that “during the intervening period, no physical demarcation or erection of boundary posts on the ground, pursuant to the MoU dated March 29, 2022 shall be carried out” till the next date of hearing.
It may be mentioned that Meghalaya and Assam had on March 29 this year signed an MoU to end their border dispute in six contested locations namely Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillangkata and Ratacherra.
The Survey of India is currently working to identify the areas and villages of the two states as per the MoU before final demarcation of the border.
The areas in Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillangkata fall under the jurisdiction of Hima Nonglang, Hima Jirang, Hima Nongspung and Hima Mylliem.