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Gauhati HC disposes of PIL on utilization of Keba Ghar in Arunachal Pradesh

It is the case of the petitioner that an amount of Rs. 10 lakhs was approved for construction of the said Keba Ghar whereafter the same was utilised by the Keba (members of Keba Village) for Keba proceeding, Gaon Burah (village headman) meetings and other ancillary purposes till 2016.

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The Gauhati High Court on Wednesday disposed of a PIL pertaining to the utilization of a Keba Ghar constructed at Aalo, the district headquarters of West Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh.

It is the case of the petitioner that an amount of Rs 10 lakh was approved for construction of the said Keba Ghar whereafter the same was utilised by the Keba (members of Keba Village) for Keba proceeding, Gaon Burah (village headman) meetings and other ancillary purposes till 2016.

However, thereafter such activities was stopped by the authorities as the premise was sought to be utilised as an One Stop Centre (OSC), which is a part of the Social Welfare Department. 

The petitioner further contended that because of such restrictions, the very objective of the construction is being defeated as there is no appropriate space to hold the Keba proceedings, Gaon Burah meetings etc.

State Counsel has placed before the Itanagar Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Medhi and Justice Robin Phukan a written instruction dated 07.12.2021 from which the Court observed that the Keba Ghar is not utilised as OSC as the scheme requires additional provisions / arrangements to run the Centre and therefore, the Centre has been shifted to a new location. 

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It is further informed that OSC building is being constructed and 50% of the work is already over. In view of such development which has been informed by the written instructions, the Bench is of the view that the PIL can be closed with a direction that the Keba Ghar be allowed to be utilised by Keba for holding the Keba meeting, Gaon Burah meetings and for all ancillary purposes in the interest of public.

The oldest, most knowledgeable man who had good personal ties with everyone in a village, or a cluster of small villages appointed as Gaon Bura in the village as the head, who would oversee matters relating to land and revenue in a particular area. They are the most important village-level functionaries in Arunachal Pradesh.

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