Responsibility of State and Central Government on Internally Displaced People: Gauhati High Court

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Introduction

The Gauhati High Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Centre and the State Government on concerns relating to the status of internally displaced individuals and their responsibilities for such people.

Facts

Both public interest litigations are being pursued simultaneously. The subject in both of these petitions is that of internally displaced persons (IDP) who have been compelled to move from West Bengal to Assam as a result of alleged violence following the West Bengal Assembly Election.

Petitioner’s Contention

One of the Petitions (PIL 29 of 2021) was filed in the High Court, seeking rehabilitation for victims fleeing from West Bengal to Assam as a result of post-election violence allegedly perpetrated by TMC (Trinamool Congress) goons in the state following the results of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly Elections in 2021. The Petitioner counsel in both pleas disagreed with the mentioned submission of the Respondent’s argument. 

Respondent’s Contention

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The State of Assam’s lawyer argued at the hearing that the State of West Bengal, as a required party to the pleas, should be impleaded in the case. 

Court’s Observation

During the hearing on Tuesday, the Court took note of the fact that an affidavit had been filed shedding light on the plight of the children in Assam’s makeshift camps. Meanwhile, the State of Assam would be free to file its objections to the Petitions’ maintainability itself, in the sense that if the State of West Bengal is a necessary party and the dispute is between the two states, this Court may not have jurisdiction to decide the case, as the matter would then fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 131 of the Constitution.

Court’s Order

The Court ordered, “The rest of the case would be decided at the later hearing.” 

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