PIL seeks constitutional validity of churches inside RIMS campus

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IMPHAL, October 25: A Public Interest Litigation has been filed before a double bench of the High Court of Manipur today challenging the constitutional validity of the construction of a particular religious institution to own and acquire immovable property located in the complex of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, RIMS.

The court has accepted the petition.

The petitioner, Dr Khomdon Singh Lisam has prayed for direction to the concerned authorities to pass an appropriate order for eviction of the encroachers within a fixed period so as not to disturb the academic atmosphere of the secular medical institute.

Dr Khomdon Singh Lisam has also sought the RIMS authority to provide a space inside the RIMS campus temporarily for prayer service of different communities other than Christians till the order for removal and eviction of the encroachers is passed by the appropriate authorities to ensure equal representation of all religions.

The PIL has been filed against the state of Manipur represented by the Chief Secretary; the Union of India represented by the Union Health Secretary; Regional Insititute of Medical Sciences, represented by the Director; Deputy Director, RIMS; Commissioner Revenue, Deputy Commissioner, Imphal West; Deputy Settlement Officer (admn)/APIO; survey and settlement officer; Popular Pisciculture Association, Manipur Purani Rajbari represented by the president/secretary; the Lamphel ROngmei Baptist Church represented by pastor Namga Gangmei and the Lamphel Baptist Church represented by pastor K Jenishing.

Dr Khomdon Singh Lisam has said, “… there are three encroachers in the RIMS campus disturbing and blocking such development. This encroachers are giving a violation of the rights of the medical students and the petitioner and the public are distressed by the information”.

He submitted, “That the Institute is having its layout plan for new development coming up in the near future. But it is learnt that the land of RIMS campus is encroached by private individuals”.

The PIL identified the encroachers as the Popular Pisciculture Association, Manipur Regd no 3440 of 1981, Purana Rajbari, opposite Kusum Oil pump (encroached area of 12.1573 hectares); the Lamphel Rongmei Baptist Church (encroached area of 500 sq meter or 0.1173 hectare under Dag no 2106 approx) and Lamphel Rongmei Baptist Church (encroached area of 300 sq meter or 0.797 hectare under Dag no 2071 approx).

It may be mentioned that the said petitioner had earlier filed an RTI seeking information on the land encroachment inside the RIMS complex.

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