`SC has directed to approach HC on Merger Agreement PIL`

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IMPHAL, December 19: The Supreme Court, while hearing a PIL filed by retd director, Health Services, Manipur, Dr Th Suresh Singh regarding the implementation of Article VIII (3) of the Merger Agreement signed between Maharaja Bodhachandra and the Indian Dominion on September 21, 1949, has directed that the petitioner should approach the State High Court.

Addressing a press conference today at the office of the BJP, Manipur Pradesh, the retired director, Health Services said that the double bench of the apex court consisting of Justice BS Chouhan and Justice SA Bobbe has directed the petitioner to first approach the State High Court and take its opinion and to come to the apex court after completing due process at the state High Court.

Dr Th Suresh said that on September 10, 2013 he submitted a PIL at the Supreme Court regarding the implementation of Article VIII (3) of the Merger Agreement particular clause which states “The government of India also undertake to make suitable provisions for the employment of Manipuris in the various branches of the public service. They also under take to preserve various laws customs and conventions prevailing in the state pertaining to the social, economic and religious life of the people”.

He further said that the matter was heard at the Apex Court on the December 17, 2013.

The double bench of the apex court was kind enough to hear patiently the case and observed that it is an important one and deserve further hearing as it involves Merger Agreement.

The bench also observed that around 567 states approximately have also merged into India during the days.

He said that learned Pinky Anand, senior advocate Supreme Court who is working for the BJP will handle the case in Supreme Court after the completion of due process at the state High Court.

BJP Manipur Pradesh will prepare to file the case at Manipur High Court as directed by the Supreme Court, he said.

Meanwhile, former president BJP, Manipur Pradesh, Sh Shantikumar Sharma said that the party is ready to file the case with the state High Court.

He, however, added that the move is not political but has been taken up in the interest of the general public.

Till date the clause included had never been publicised, however, following the case to be filed, the clause will get all the publicity it needs, he said.

If by any chance the hearing of the case goes against the petitioners, than it will mean that the Merger Agreement is invalid and void, which means that Manipur will go back to the status it had before the agreement, he said.

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