VANRAMCHHUANGI Vs. STATE OF MIZORAM, REPRESENTED BY CHIEF SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT OF MIZORAM
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
State Of Mizoram, Represented By Chief Secretary To Government Of Mizoram
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S. Serto, J. -
(1.) Heard Mr. C. Lalramzauva, learned Sr. counsel assisted by Mr. T.J. Lalnuntluanga for the petitioner and also heard Mr. B.Deb, learned Advocate General, Mizoram who appears on behalf of the respondents.
(2.) The petitioner in this I.A.(C) filed a writ petition by way of PIL alleging illegal appropriation of public money out of the consolidated fund of the State in violation of Article-226(3) of the Constitution of India and in violation of standards of financial propriety as provided under Rule-21 of the General Financial Rules, 2017, and at the same time praying for quashing and setting aside the D.O letter No. CHM/VC- AB/CHMN-NIB-15/2/618, 619, 620 & 621, dated 09.02.2018, issued to the private respondents by the respondent No.3, informing that a sum of Rs. 5 crore, 4.5 crore and 4 crore each have been allotted for their respective constituencies and asking them to select NLUP beneficiaries who would get Rs. 1 lakh each under the scheme.
On the day the writ petition was moved before the Division Bench which happens to exist at that time i.e. 03.08.2018, the following order was passed;
"Heard Mr. C. Lalramzauva, learned Sr. counsel assisted by Mr. T.J. Lalnuntluanga, learned counsel for the petitioner. Also heard Mr. Samuel Vanlalhriata Chhangte, learned Government Advocate appearing for the respondent Nos. 1 to 3. Alleging serious anomalies in the process adopted for disbursal of fund under the 'New Land Use Policy' (NLUP) Project, the petitioner has approached this Court by way of this PIL inter-alia alleging that due to absence of any transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries, the official respondents are choosing beneficiaries in an arbitrary manner by depriving thousands of genuine persons who fits into the criteria for receiving benefits under the NLUP Project. It is also the submission of learned senior counsel that the respondents have acted in an unfair and discriminatory manner by leaving out as many as 6 sitting MLAs from the purview of the scheme, while including non-MLAs in the panel for selection of beneficiaries thereby acting in contravention of the regulations framed by the NLUP in this regard. By drawing the attention of this Court to the CAG report covering the years 2011-2012 and 2015-2016, Mr. C. Lalramzauva, senior counsel submits that large scale irregularities have been detected in the matter of allocation and distribution of fund under the NLUP Project and therefore, the respondents be restrained from disbursing the funds recently allocate until such time, transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries is evolved.
On a query made by us as to whether any guidelines have been framed for selection of beneficiaries, Mr. Samuel Vanlalhriata, learned Government Advocate submits that he be granted some time to obtain instructions in this matter. Issue notice returnable in 4(four) weeks.
Since the respondent Nos. 1 to 3 are already represented by the learned Government Advocate, no formal notice is required to sent to the said respondents. Extra copies of the writ petition be furnished to learned Government Advocate. Steps by registered post with AD for service of notice upon the respondent Nos. 4 to 41.
Steps within 7 days from today.
Heard on the prayer of interim relief.
Considering the nature of allegations made in the writ petition and having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, we hereby direct the respondents would frame guidelines based on the transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries having due regard to the equality clause contained in Article 14 of the Constitution of India and notify the same before disbursing any fund to the beneficiaries.
The State respondents shall also maintain proper account in the matter of utilization of the funds.
The prayer for further interim order will be considered on the next date.
Let this matter again after 4(four) weeks".
On 11.09.2018, this I.A.(C) praying for an order directing the respondents not to disburse any amount of the NLUP grant to the beneficiaries who have been selected without following any guideline based on the transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries and for any order or orders that this Court deems fit and proper was moved. As it appears in the order passed on that day, by then, the respondents had published the notification dated 27.08.2018, in the Mizoram Gazette (Extraordinary), wherein the guidelines for the implementation of the NLUP scheme are given.
(3.) The learned Sr. counsel, Mr. C. Lalramzauva appearing for the petitioner submitted that the notification does not content the guidelines as directed in the order dated 03.08.2018, passed in the main case. The learned Sr. counsel thereafter, drew the attention of this Court to the D.O. letters sought to be quashed and set aside in the PIL and submitted that though the petitioner has nothing to say against the scheme but is aggrieved by the manner in which it has been implemented which is most arbitrary and discriminatory.
The learned Sr. counsel further submitted that as per information received by the petitioner beneficiaries have been selected as per the recommendations of the private respondents based on their own whims but denying the most deserving persons, therefore, if any beneficiaries lists has been prepared based on the D.O. letters under challenged, the same should not be given effect to.;
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