Assam-Meghalaya Border Pact: Supreme Court Asks Meghalaya HC To Defer Hearing Of Petition
The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice JB Pardiwala have instructed the Meghalaya High Court to defer the Assam–Meghalaya border pact hearing till the matter remained pending in the Supreme Court.
The Apex Court had earlier put stay on the order of Meghalaya High Court that had put an interim stay on the execution of the Assam-Meghalaya border pact,subsequent to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) dated 29.03.2022 between the two states.
The MoU from Assam was signed by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma whereas his CM counterpart from Meghalaya Conrad Sangma signed it for resolve the long standing interstate boundary dispute
As per the MoU Assam was directed to keep18.51 square kilometres of land, and wMeghalaya keeping 18.28 square kilometres of land, for the 36.79 square kilometres of total la
The interim order was passed by Justice H. S. Thangkhiew on a plea moved by Tribal Chiefs, who claimed that the MoU violates provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution which relates to ‘Administration of Tribal Areas’ in NE States.
The counsel respondent requested the bench to substitute the High court order with the status quo order.
The respondent counsel said that the area is a tribal area of Meghalaya since 1960s and thus the status of this place should not be changed. It’s a 55-year-old status, but the he moment it comes to Assam, we cease to be a tribal.
He added that they are recognised under the Sixth Schedule. For 55 years I have had this status. Overnight they cannot change it. The High Court may be directed to hear it. ‘
CJI DY Chandrachud said that it is an agreement between two Chief Ministers of two different states.
The Supreme Court bench said that the the High Court, acting on a writ petition by a citizen, stays the operation of the agreement and now the Apex Court hears it..
It ordered that the High Court should not hear the matter as we are taking it up noe.There should be a stay on further proceedings before the High Court.
The bench said that the order the special leave petition shall be listed on a non-miscellaneous day in February.
Further, during the pendency of the proceedings before the Supreme Court, the High Court was requested to defer the hearing of the writ petition.
Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta appeared for the State of Meghalaya, which has approached the Supreme Court against the HC order.