The Supreme Court on Monday posted for hearing in July, a plea of the Meghalaya government challenging the High Court’s order which had put a stay on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Meghalaya and Assam to resolve the long-standing interstate boundary dispute between the States.
A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala said the plea was wrongly listed today by the Registry and will take it up for hearing in July.
The bench said, “We will keep this in July.”
The Meghalaya High Court on December 8, 2022, had put an interim stay on the execution of the Assam-Meghalaya border pact, which was entered into between the two states subsequent to the signing of the MoU on March 29, 2022.
The MoU was signed by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma to resolve the long-standing interstate boundary dispute, particularly in respect of six areas.
The Meghalaya government while approaching the top court against the High Court’s order has said that the issues concerning the alteration of boundaries or exchange of areas between two states are a purely political question within the “sole domain” of the Executive.
It stated, “The MoU signed by the two states is a sovereign act between the states to demarcate the boundaries in a fair and transparent manner which cannot be interfered with by way of a writ petition and much less by passing an interim order.”
The arrangement dictated Assam keeping 18.51 square kilometres of land, with Meghalaya keeping 18.28 square kilometres of land, for the 36.79 square kilometres of total land.
Meghalaya was carved out of Assam as a separate State in 1972, but the new State challenged the Assam Reorganisation Act, of 1971, leading to disputes in 12 border locations.
The interim order was passed by the High Court on a plea moved by some residents claiming that the MoU violates provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution which relates to ‘Administration of Tribal Areas’ in North East States.
Earlier, the apex court had stayed the High Court’s order which had put a stay on the MoU between the states. (ANI)