A city-based lawyer has moved a petition to the Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills under Section 8 of the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Act, 1971 for eviction of non-tribals occupying the land at Them Iew Mawlong.
Erwin K. Syiem Sutnga in his petition said that the occupation of the land at Them Iew Mawlong by non-tribals is against the provisions of the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Act, 1971 and without the due process of law.
“The Harijan Panchayat Committee had been trying to establish claim over this piece of land by various means and is also resisting the decision of the Meghalaya government to vacate the said land based on the report of the High Level Committee constituted by the State government on this matter,” Sutnga said.
He also said that the Harijan Panchayat Committee has outright refused to vacate the tribal land in contravention of Section 3, 4 and 7 of the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Act, 1971 despite the plans of the State government to resettle them in other lands and buildings identified by the government.
Urging the Deputy Commissioner who is the competent authority under the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Act to take necessary action at the earliest, Sutnga said that Section 8 of the act provides for issuing notice, hearing of the respondents (Harijan Panchayat Committee) and also other required procedure of law “in order to arrive at a judicious finding based on the principles of justice, equity and right to be heard”.
Sutnga also cited the judgement of the Supreme Court in Civil Appeal 6619 of 2014 ‘Union of India and Another versus Omkar Nath Deb’ which stated that “compassion cannot be extended in perpetuity”.
He also said that the matter related to Them Iew Mawlong has to be addressed immediately under the provisions of Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Act so that the tribal land can be returned to the Syiem of Mylliem and Dorbar being the authority over this land.
The lawyer also urged the Deputy Commissioner to issue notices to the Harijan Panchayat Committee in order to allow them to be heard on the petition filed by him and also to pass necessary orders for the eviction of all illegal non-tribal occupiers of Them Iew Mawlong and also to order the demolition of all illegally constructed buildings and other structures in the area.