Court disapproves land allotted in 1996 to `bogus` society floated under ex-revenue minister

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IMPHAL, April 17: In a sensational judgement, the High Court of Manipur on Thursday disapproved the land allotted in 1996 to Kombirei Housing Co-operative Society Limited allegedly formed by bogus members during the tenure of Thounaojam Chaoba Singh as the Revenue Minister after he was elected from 24-Nambol Assembly Constituency of Manipur Legislative Assembly.

Welcoming the judgement of the court, a press meet was held at Irabot Bhavan, BT Road today around 7 pm.

Addressing media persons, ex-Minister and Communist Party of India (CPI) MLA Ningthoujam Mangi contended that the Government of Manipur allotted 30 acres of land to two societies namely the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, a society registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 having its office at Anusandhan Bhavan, Rafti Marg, New Delhi `“ 110001 and The Regional Research Laboratory, Jorhat, Assam (A Constituent Establishment of the Petitioner 1) to take up research and developmental works.

He alleged that Th Chaoba during his tenure as the Revenue Minister had given away 18 acres of land out of the allotted 30 acres to the Kombirei Housing Co-operative Society Limited (Registration no 6 of 1995-96) at Lamphelpat, Imphal West.

The society is said to have 95 members. However, members of the society included Deputy Chief Minister of that time, Chief Town Planner, father-in-law, cousin sister and acquaintances of Th Chaoba.

Serial no 65 in the members list is Chaoba`™s son-in-law while the two persons mentioned in the serial no 69 were wrongly addressed to Lalambung Makhong, Imphal West. Serial no 77 is his brother while serial no 82 is wife of his brother, the MLA disclosed.

Saying that he as a Member of Manipur Legislative Assembly on March 27, 1996 raised starred question no 269 (A) in the House after coming to learn certain acres of land had been allotted to the bogus society, Mangi added that he had urged the House to form a committee to investigate into the scandalous matter.

Accordingly, a House Committee comprising of seven members including O Joy and Prof. Gangmumei Kamei was formed to probe into the matter. The committee submitted its report to the government of that time, he said.

In the meantime, the two societies filed a case in the court against the Kombirei Housing Co-operative Society Limited regarding the allotment of 18 acres of land.

Hearing of the case was done by a Single Bench of High Court of Manipur. The bench had passed judgment in favour of the Kombirei Housing Co-operative Society Limited and four other respondents.

Following appeal from the appellant societies made to the court, a Division Bench of High Court of Manipur comprising of Chief Justice LK Mohapatra and Justice Kh Nobin Singh on April 16 passed a final order on the case overturning the earlier ruling of the Single judge Bench.

The court in its ruling said, “™We do not agree with the finding of the learned Single Judge that the appellants did not have any enforceable right. However, having found that the allotment made in favour of the appellants was under a wrong provision of law and that such allotment was non east in the eye of law, we find no reason to either disturb the impunged order or modify the same. However, we grant liberty to the state to consider the recommendation of the House Committee and review of the order of allotment of land made in favour of the appellants and also at the same time grant liberty to the state to decide as to whether they should proceed for cancellation of land allotted in favour of the Kombirei Housing Co-operative Society Limited and its members after following due process of law as provided in the Rules. Both the writ appeals are disposed of accordingly.`™`™

N Mangi while hailing the ruling of the court asserted that the right judgment passed by the court has proved that there is law in the land too.

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