K.NZANTHUNG HUMTSOE Vs. STATE OF NAGALAND
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI (AT: KOHIMA)
STATE OF NAGALAND
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(1.) Heard Mr. Taka Masa, learned senior counsel assisted by Mr. Arenlong, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners. Also heard Mr. K. Wotsa, learned Senior Government Advocate appearing for the State respondent Nos. 1 and 2 as well as Mr. D. Stephen, learned counsel appearing for the respondent Nos. 3 and 4.
(2.) Mr. Taka Masa, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioners submits that the petitioners along with commonly aggrieved persons had earlier approached this Court by way of W.P (C) No. 17 (K) of 2016 challenging the action of the S.D.O (C), Wokha with regard to the elections/selections of VDB Members and Secretary of Pongidong Village, Wokha. The said writ petition was disposed of by this Court by judgment and order dated 19.12.2016 directing the Deputy Commissioner, Wokha/respondent No. 2 to conduct a fresh election/selection of VDB Secretary which shall be preceded by a fresh selection of members of the VDB from Humtsoe Chumpo Olongo Clan and Emungri Clan under the supervision of the Village Council, Pongidong Village strictly in accordance with law. The said exercise was to be completed within a period of three months from the date of receipt of the judgment and order by the respondent No.2. In compliance to the judgment and order dated 19.12.2016, the respondent No. 2 by an order dated 03.03.2017, directed the Pongidong Village Council to conduct fresh election/selection of VDB Secretary which shall be preceded by a fresh election of the members of the VDB members from the Humtsoe Chumpo Olongo Clan and Emungri Clan under the supervision of the Village Council. The said exercise was to be completed on or before 25.03.2017. Accordingly, the Chairman, Pongidong Village Council issued a Circular dated 08.03.2017 in terms of the directions passed by the respondent No. 2 stating that there will be a meeting of the Village Council on 15.03.2017 at Pongidong Village Community Hall and requested all VCMs/GBs to attend the meeting without fail. Thereafter, the Chairman of the Pongidong Village Council by a letter dated 15.03.2017 wrote to the respondent No. 2 stating that the selection/election was done through the council majority and the petitioner No. 1 from Chumpo Olongo Humtsoe Clan and the petitioner No. 2 from the Emungri clan were unanimously selected as VDB members of the two clans. Further, the final VDB members of the Pongidong Village were reflected in the letter and a request was made to initiate for election/selection of VDB Secretary of Pongidong Village at the earliest.
(3.) While the petitioners were awaiting a positive response, the Extra Assistant Commissioner, Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Wokha issued a Circular dated 20.03.2017 on the direction of the respondent No, 2 stating that a consultative meeting will be held on 23.03.2017 at Community Hall, Pongidong Village with regard to selection/election of VDB members of Humtsoe Chumpo Olongo Clan and Emungri Clan and the Chairman and GBs of Humtsoe Chumpo Olongo Clan and Emungri Clan, the Village Council Chairman and all Village Council Members, Pongidong Village, the household heads of Humtsoe Chumpo Olongo Clan and household heads of Emungri Clan of Pongidong Village were directed to attend the meeting. In the said meeting, the members were informed by the EAC that a direction was issued to verify and confirm the election of VDB members of Humtsoe Chumpo Olongo Clan and Emungri Clan under the supervision of the Village Council. The members present had therefore, informed the EAC about the earlier selection/election on 15.03.2017 and submission of the letter dated 15.03.2017 by the Chairman of Pongidong Village Council to the respondent No. 2. Thereafter, the Chairman and Secretary of Humtsoe Chumpo Olongo Clan by a letter dated 25.03.2017 addressed to the respondent No. 2 had reaffirmed the general resolution dated 22.08.2015 and 15.03.2017 on the re-selection of the petitioner No. 1 for VDB member from Humtsoe Chumpo Olongo clan. Similarly, the Emungrui clan by letter dated 25.03.2017 had also written to the respondent No. 2 adhering to the selection of the petitioner No. 2 as VDB member. However, the respondent No. 2 had issued the impugned order dated 26.05.2017 approving the list of VDB members of VDB members of Pongidong Village including respondent No. 3 and respondent No. 4 in place of the petitioner No. 2 and the petitioner No. 1 respectively. Being highly aggrieved, the Chairman of Pongidong Village had submitted representation dated 26.04.2017 and 29.05.2017 against the decision of the respondent No. 2 for selection/election of the respondent Nos. 3 and 4 as VDB members of Humtsoe Chumpo Olongo Clan and Ekhung Clan. Further, the petitioners have also made separate representation dated 30.05.2017 to the respondent No. 2 with regard to their replacement by the respondent Nos. 3 and 4 respectively and requested for restoration of the VDB membership in respect of the petitioner in terms of the re-election that was done on 15.03.2017. However, as there was no response, the petitioners are before this Court praying for setting aside the impugned order dated 26.05.2017 with a further direction to approve the names of the petitioners as VDB members in terms of the re-election that was done on 15.03.2017.;
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