Manipur High Court directs state to frame new guidelines for Gaan-Ngai Festival

The HC directed the Manipur government to complete the guidelines by the end of November 2020.

 

A single bench of Justice Kh Nobin, High Court of Manipur has directed state government to withdraw previous guidelines for state-level Gaan-Ngai Festival and frame new guidelines by laying down the eligibility criteria and the procedure to be followed while selecting the applicant/claimant for providing grant-in-aid to organise the State Level Gaan-Ngai Festival.

The HC further directed the state to complete the guidelines by the end of November, 2020 so that an organisation can be selected by the State Government in order to organise the State Level Gaan-Ngai Festival, 2021 probably in January, 2021.

The registry of the court has been directed to release the amount, at the earliest possible, lying with it by way of a cheque/ bank draft drawn in the name of petitioner Jenbung Kamson, secretary of state level Gaan-Ngai festival committee. The petitioner shall submit the utilisation certificate as required in law, to the Department of TA & Hills, Government of Manipur within a month from the date of receipt of the amount, the court said.

A writ petition for framing proper guidelines for allocation of financial assistance to the State Level Gaan-Ngai celebration was filed by the petitioner in 2015 before the High Court. The court has disposed the case with the direction to the state government to lay down the guidelines, after considering the views of the experts in the field, as to whom the grant-in-aid shall be given for organizing the Gaan-Ngai celebration in 2019.

According to the petitioner, the guidelines have been framed for the namesake only which may subdue the sacred religion celebration for the reason that they do not indicate from whom the approval was obtained simply stating that the guidelines were issued with the approval of the authority.

The court observed that the existing guidelines of state government is an indispensable way of life commencing from birth till death and is held by one and all belonging to Zeliangrong people. 

It also opined that the guidelines have totally changed the constitution and the emphasis has now been given only to one organization namely Manipur Kabui Union excluding the other organizations. The manner, in which the celebration committee is intended to be constituted by the State Government, is unfair and unreasonable and violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India, the court said.

The petitioner also prayed for grant of certain reliefs including the disbursement of grant-in-aid for the State Level Gaan-Ngai Festival celebrated in January, 2020.

The court after identifying the fact of organisation that state level Gaan-Ngai festival 2020 was organised by the petitioner Jenbung Kamson, secretary of state level Gaan-Ngai festival committee, directed the court registry to release the amount.

First Published:Oct. 21, 2020, 9:56 p.m.

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