The High Court of Manipur directed the authorities not to initiate any eviction process against 441 persons, who are claiming the status of Other Traditional Forest Dwellers of Wangoo Gram Panchayat, Kakching District, Manipur without leave of the court
The High Court of Manipur on Tuesday directed the concerned authorities not to initiate any eviction process against 441 persons, who are claiming the status of Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD) of Wangoo Gram Panchayat, Kakching District, Manipur without leave of the court.
The HC also directed the authorities to consider the representation dated 16-06-2022 submitted by the petitioners claiming for providing the OTFD status and dispose of the same by issuing a speaking order within two months.
The HC directive came following a writ petition filed by Loitongbam Deven Singh and 10 others. As per petitioners, a representation had been submitted to the concerned authorities on behalf of 441 claimants, who are claiming for providing status of OTFD of Wangoo Gram Panchayat, Kakching District, Manipur and that the said representation has not yet been considered by the authorities till today.
In the meantime, the Divisional Forest Officer, Thoubal Forest Division, Manipur issued Show Cause Notice dated 16-05-2022 directing the petitioners and other persons to give explanation by appearing in-person or pleaders on their behalf on or before 7th day from the date of receipt of the said Show Cause Notice with necessary documents indicating sufficient reasons as to why they should not be evicted from the land of Thongam Mondum Reserved Forest and if they failed to response to the said Show Cause Notice within the stipulated time, necessary eviction process will be initiated immediately without further communication.
- Bupendra Meitei, the counsel appearing for the petitioners, submitted that the petitioners and other persons have submitted their representation claiming for providing the status of OTFD of Wangoo Gram Panchayat, Kakching District, Manipur as provided under the relevant Act and Rules. Without considering and disposing of the said representation, the authorities have initiated the eviction process as contemplated under the Show Cause Notice in a very arbitrary manner, he added.
He sought an interim order be passed restraining the authorities from evicting the petitioners from their land presently possessed by them pending consideration and disposal of their claims.