Friday, December 8, 2023

Supreme Court closes PIL after MHA says blockades put up by Southern Angami Public Organisation on movement of Mao community removed

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The Supreme Court on Thursday closed a public interest litigation, after the Central government apprised the Apex Court that the issue related to the infringement of freedom of movement of the Mao Community of Manipur caused by the blockade and quit notice imposed by the Southern Angami Public Organisation (SAPO) of Nagaland had been resolved.

Appearing for the Union of India, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Bench of Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice P.S. Narasimha and Justice J.B. Pardiwala that he had received a note from the Union Home Ministry, which said that the blockades had been withdrawn now and there was no hindrance of movement anymore.

The SAPO had imposed a blockade since December 15, 2022 on the settlement, residency, trade and commerce, and movement of Mao tribe members through Southern Angami Tribe settlement areas at NH-39 in Nagaland.

A PIL had been filed in the Supreme Court against this blockade.

CJI Chandrachud recorded the submissions made by SG Mehta in the matter, as well as the progress made to remove the blockades.

It said the SG has submitted instructions received from the Director (North East) Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Though as a result of this intervention, the issue has been resolved, the petitioners have stated that it was festering for a decade as a result of which their free movement was thwarted. Since the problem has been resolved, there was no need to keep the proceedings pending.

Keeping in mind the possibility of the issues to recur, the Apex Court granted liberty to the petitioners to approach the Chief Secretary of the Government of Nagaland or the Ministry of Home Affairs in the North East Division, so that appropriate steps were taken to resolve any recurrent issues.

The top court of the country further granted liberty to the petitioners to move the Manipur High Court in case of any further issue.

(Case title: Khuraijam Athouba Singh vs UoI and ors)

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