Courts Update Assam-Mizoram boundary dispute: Gauhati High Court tells petitioner to...

Assam-Mizoram boundary dispute: Gauhati High Court tells petitioner to approach Supreme Court

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Gauhati Sept 22(ILNS): The Gauhati High Court on September 20, disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), while opening that the PIL will not lie before the High Court has any jurisdiction to entertain the same to deal with the issue of the boundary dispute between the State of Assam and Mizoram.

The PIL has been filed by Baharul Islam Barbhuiya.

In the PIL, the following reliefs are claimed:- “(i) To constitute a boundary commission to permanently resolve the boundary dispute between the State of Assam and Mizoram. (ii) To demarcate boundaries of the State of Assam and Mizoram through satellite imaging to settle the inter-state border. (iii) To demarcate interstate boundaries of the State of Assam and Mizoram as defined in the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act of 1971. (iv) To take appropriate steps to build mutual trust and good relationship between the people of the State of Assam and Mizoram.”

The Division Bench comprising of Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice Manish Choudhury, on perusal of the reliefs claimed, held that PIL relates to the boundary dispute between the State of Assam and Mizoram.

The Court observed that as regards any dispute between two States, such an issue can be raised only before the Supreme Court as the  Supreme Court has been given the original jurisdiction to deal with any dispute between two or more States as provided under Article 131 of the Constitution of India.

The article reads as follow:-

“131. Original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court – Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of any other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute— (a) between the Government of India and one or more States; or (b) between the Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more other States on the other; or (c) between two or more States, if and in so far as the dispute involves any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends: Provided that the said jurisdiction shall not extend to a dispute arising out of any treaty, agreement, covenant, engagement, sanad or another similar instrument which, having been entered into or executed before the commencement of this Constitution, continues in operation after such commencement, or which provides that the said jurisdiction shall not extend to such a dispute.”

“In that view of the matter, we are of the opinion that this PIL will not lie before this Court having no jurisdiction to entertain the same to deal with the issue raised in this PIL ”, the order reads./ILNS/SS/SNG

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