Mukul’s ST status case deferred indefinitely

New Delhi: The contentious case in the Supreme Court questioning the Scheduled Tribe status of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and others which was to come up or hearing on Friday has been deferred yet again but this time without the date of the next hearing being fixed.The latest case status of the apex court mentions the concerned writ petition (civil) 343 of 2014 filed by one Tennydard M Marak versus Union of India and others as pending. But the same document says that ‘there is no further orders of listing’ which means that the next date for hearing of the oft-deferred case is not fixed.The high voltage case was to come up before the bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu on Friday but was deferred without further date, Tennydard’s advocate said, adding that the Registrar will fix the next date for hearing of the case.
The case was eliminated due to excess matters on December 16 and January 9 was fixed as the date for the hearing.The case, despite its constitutional importance involving high dignitaries, has been deferred as many as 13 times now, the advocate said.On an earlier occasion, the case had been adjourned since one of the three-member apex court bench – Fali Nariman – had previously been the advocate for the petitioners. On other occasions the case was deferred mostly to file additional documents. The Supreme Court had issued notices to the Meghalaya Government and seven others in the case related to the ST status of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma earlier. It had stayed the proceedings of the State-level Scrutiny Committee.
The other recipients of the notice of the apex court are – the Union Government, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, the Election Commissions of India, the Scrutiny Committee and the Chief Minister himself, besides his brother and Cabinet Minister Zenith and sister Tripti Rani.The apex court on January 20 last year had requested the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to verify and dispose off the case related to the ST status of Chief Minister within eight weeks on merit and in accordance with the law. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by All Northeast Indigenous Garo Law Promoters’ Association and Tennydard M Marak seeking its direction to hold inquiry into the ST status of Sangma and cancellation of the certificate issued to him on June 23, 1982. The apex court combined both the petitions and took it up for hearing.

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