HC wants govt to decide on cut-off year for roster system

Shillong, April 3: The High Court of Meghalaya has left it to the legislature and the executive to decide on the cut-off year for roster system.

During the hearing of a PIL on Monday filed by Greneth M. Sangma, the division bench of the court referred to 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”, the court said.

The court also observed that the petition, apparently filed in public interest, appears to be an attempt to muddy the already disturbed waters.
The court pointed out that it was discovered in 2022, quite accidently in course of a service matter before a Division Bench of the court, that though the reservation policy had been in place in the state since its inception in January, 1972, there was no roster that had been prepared. Accordingly, the 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.

“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’, the division bench said.

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