IMPHAL, April 2: The Guwahati High Court Imphal bench has recently issued a notice of motion returnable within 4 weeks in response to the Writ Petition filed by the 13 Job Card holders of Ucheckon Nongchup Gram Panchayat for non payment of Unemployment allowances despite the fact that the ombudsmam, MGNREGS, Imphal East district has issued an award in this regard.
On the other hand, the present Writ petition is one of the exceptional cases in Manipur in approaching the High Court, Imphal Bench for non payment of the unemployment allowance by the Job card holders under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employement Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA). Under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Manipur which has been framed by the government of Manipur under section 4 of the MGNREGA, every job card holder is entitled to get unemployment allowance as and when the authority concerned failed to provide employment within 15 days from the date of submission of application for work by the Job card holder.
In the meantime, in the present case, in the month of November last year 13 Job card holders of Uchekon Nongchup Gram Panchayat have submitted their application for work to the authority of Ucheckon Nongchup Gram Panchayat for provding employment under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Manipur. However, the said 13 Job card holders were not provided employment within stipulated period of time and as such they had approached the Panchayat Secretary, Uchekon Nongchup Gram Panchayat on December 14 last year by submitting their separate application for seeking unemployment allowances for failure to provide employment.
According to a source, thereafter, the said 13 job card holders have been waiting for unemployment allowances but the same was not released. Untimely, on January 15 last this year, the said 13 job card holders have submitted their individual complaints before the Ombudsman, MGNREGS, Imphal East district for taking necessary action so as to enable them to get their unemployment allowances. Consequently, on February 14 last month, the Deputy Ombudsman, MGNREGS, Imphal East has disposed of their complaints by a common award thereby directing the Programme Officer concerned to pay the unemployment allowances to the said 13 job card holdersd despite the fact that the Ombudsman has issued an award in this regard.
Later, the very act of willful dishonour of the Award issued by the Ombudsman and refusal to pay unemployment allowances is amounted to violation of rights to life of the job card holders enshrined in the Article 12 of the Constitution of India and as such the 13 Job card holders have preferred the present Writ Petition for seeking appropriate remedy. After hearing the submission of Meihoubam Rakesh, learned counsel for the petitioners, the Justice Asok Potsangbam of Guwahati High court Imphal Bench has issued the above mentioned notice of motion.
The respondent listed in the writ petition are the state of Manipur through the Commissioner, (Rural Development and Panchayati Raj) to the government of Manipur, the District Programme Coordinator, Imphal East District, Manipur, the Programme Officer, Imphal East-II Block and the Union of India through the Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, New Delhi.
It may be mentioned that, the present Writ Petition is filed at the active initiative of Human Rights Law Network (Manipur), the source added.