The Meghalaya High Court yesterday listed the matter relating to the relocation of residents of Punjabi Lane in Shillong for the next hearing on July 3, 2023.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W. Diengdoh noted, “Learned Advocate-General reports that Counsel for the Harijan Panchayat Committee has agreed, in principle, to the blueprint prepared by the government but has made some suggestions for modification in certain areas. Since the State is looking at the suggestions for modification, let the matter come up three weeks hence.”

AG A. Kumar and GA R. Colney appeared for the appellant while Senior Advocate V.G.K. Kynta, Advocates R. Khatri, M.F. Qureshi, and L. Khyriem appeared for the respondents.

In this case, the State Government submitted before the court that the residents of Punjabi Lane in Shillong have agreed, in principle, to the blueprint prepared by it for the purpose of relocating more than 340 families. The blueprint came up after rejecting the Harijan Panchayat Committee’s demand that 200 square meters of land be provided to each of the families within the European ward besides bearing the cost of construction of their homes.

Earlier, clashes erupted in the said area in the year 2018 between the people of the Khasi tribe and Sikhs living there and after the same, the Shillong Municipal Board started an exercise to determine the legal residents of Punjabi Lane. There was a demand from various quarters to relocate the ethnic Punjabis from the said area.

In the above context of the matter, the High Court observed, “It is hoped that the parties will now resolve the long pending issue and give a quietus to these matters.”

Accordingly, the Court listed the matter on July 3.

Cause Title- State of Meghalaya v. Harijan Panchayat Committee & Ors.

Click here to read/download the Order