PUMZADOU THANGSING Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF MANIPUR
UNION OF INDIA
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(1.) Heard Shri Serto T. Kom, learned Advocate appearing for the petitioners, Smt. Momota Devi Oinam, learned Addl. Advocate General for the State respondents and Shri S. Suresh, learned ASG for the Union of India.
(2.) By the instant writ petition, the petitioners have prayed for issuing a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate writ to quash and set aside the letter dated 18-07-2017 issued by the Principal Secretary (Planning), Government of Manipur and the circular dated 29-11-2017 issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Churachandpur.
(3.) Facts and circumstances as narrated in the writ petition, are that they are the permanent residents of the State of Manipur hailing from different districts of Manipur.
3.2. As per the modified guidelines of the Border Area Development Programme (hereinafter referred to as "the BADP ") dated 29-07-2015, the BADP funds are to meet the needs of the border population and also to be implemented through/ on participatory and decentralized basis involving the local bodies/ village authorities in terms of paragraph 4.1 and paragraph 8.1 thereof. On 20.12.2012, the Chief Secretary, Government of Manipur, issued an order advising the Deputy Commissioners/ Executive Directors of the districts who are implementing the said BADP works, to execute the same through village panchayat/ village authority as per the existing guidelines/ norms of the BADP.
3.3. The State Cabinet in its meeting held on 14-07-2019 at Churachandpur, took a decision among others that the cost of schemes to be taken up by the village authority would be reduced from Rs.20 lakhs to Rs.5 lakhs only. For the purpose of implementing the said decision, the Principal Secretary (Planning), Government of Manipur vide its letter dated 18-07-2017 communicated the same to all the Deputy Commissioners of the hill districts of Manipur. On receipt of the said letter dated 18.07.2017, the Deputy Commissioner, Churachandpur vide its Circular dated 29-11-2017 notified to the village authorities which are implementing works/ schemes under BADP that the gift deed should be executed with the concerned SDO/ BDO in respect of the lands where works/ schemes under the BADP are to be implemented.
3.4. Being aggrieved by the said letter dated 18-07-2017 and the circular dated 29-11-2017, the instant writ petition has been filed on the inter-alia grounds that the village authority which is one of the agencies implementing the BADP schemes, has been discriminated for the reason that the ceiling/ limit of the amount/ cost of schemes to be implemented by it, has been reduced to Rs.5 lakhs while the same continues to be Rs.20 lakhs in respect of the other development agencies; that the fact that the ceiling/ limit of the amount/ cost of the schemes has been reduced to Rs.5 lakhs in respect of the village authorities, would defeat the very objective of the BADP by which local population and the grass root development authorities are to be involved; that if the decision taken by the State Government is to be implemented, the people in the hill areas which constitute 99% tribals, would be reluctant to implement the BADP schemes because they would be required to transfer their lands to the Government. ;
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