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SC order on petition

Shillong, Jan. 20: The Supreme Court today directed the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to consider a petition which questioned the tribal status of Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma within eight weeks.

A bench comprising Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice M.Y. Eqbal, while disposing of two petitions, which were filed before the court, left it to the commission to take a call on Sangma’s tribal status.

The petitions, questioning the chief minister’s tribal status, include that of a special leave petition filed by Tennydard Marak, and a writ petition filed by the All North East Indigenous Garo Law Promoters Association.

Last year, Marak petitioned the commission demanding cancellation of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificate, which was accorded to Sangma. He also asked the Election Commission to take action against the chief minister.

Speaking to The Telegraph over phone from New Delhi, Supreme Court advocate Ranjan Mukherjee said the court did not give any opinion on the two petitions, but left the matter to the commission.

“The court today asked the commission to consider the petition filed before it, within a period of eight weeks from today,” he said.

Mukherjee, along with Meghalaya advocate-general K.S. Kynjing, represented the Meghalaya government and the chief minister at the hearing today.

On October 7, 2013 the high court dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Marak. Thereafter, Marak approached the apex court through a special leave petition. “The petitioner has no locus standi to file the present PIL, and/or is not an aggrieved person in the given case to file the PIL, and the relief(s) sought for in the present PIL cannot be granted in the writ proceeding,” Justice T. Nandakumar Singh and Justice S.R. Sen said in their order and judgment while dismissing the PIL.