Division Bench of High Court of Meghalaya dismissed PIL file on the Roster System

Shillong, April 03: The Division Bench of the High Court of Meghalaya comprised Chief Justice, Sanjib Banerjee, and Justice W. Diengdoh today the 3rd April 2023 dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the Roster System.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was file by Mr.  Greneth M. Sangma  against the State of Meghalaya and the PIL was take in Division Bench of the HCM by Chief Justice, Sanjib Banerjee, and Justice W. Diengdoh.

In the PIL for the petitioner represent by the senior advocate  Mr A.S. Siddiqui, with advocate Mr A.G. Momin and for the respondents represent by the  Additional Advocate General Mr B. Bhattacharjee, with Ms R. Colney Government Advocate.

In the Division Bench while dismissing the PIL  PIL No. 2 of 2023,  Chief Justice  Sanjib Banerjee, and Justice W. Diengdoh pointed out that , this petition, apparently filed in public interest, appears to be an attempt to muddy the already disturbed waters.

It was discovered in the year 2022, quite accidently in course of a service matter before a Division Bench of this Court, that though the reservation policy had been in place in this State since its inception in January, 1972, there was no roster that had been prepared.

Accordingly, this Court took suo motu cognisance of such irregularity and required all appointments to be stayed till a roster was prepared. Certain ancillary directions were also issued. A roster was prepared.

The Court noticed that a roster had been prepared and the matter was given a quietus without going into the veracity of the roster that was prepared and upon prima facie satisfaction that the roster adhered to the extent of reservation of about 85 per cent that is in vogue in the State.

Judicial notice needs to be taken of the discussions pertaining to the roster in the new Assembly. However, it does not appear that any decision has yet been taken as to a cut-off date or the like or how far back the roster system would be made applicable.

These are policy matters that are best left to the legislature and the executive and upon a firm stand being taken, it will be open to any citizen affected thereby to question the propriety thereof in accordance with law.

As of now, and without a decision in such regard having been taken by the Assembly which is actively discussing the matter, the present petition should not be entertained.

Accordingly, PIL No. 2 of 2023 is dismissed without going into the merits of the matter pertaining to the roster system for reserved seats in the State. The Court may be called upon to look into the matter at a more appropriate stage. There will be no order as to costs.

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