Manipur violence: SC criticises HC order telling state to consider ST status for Meiteis

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday made a strong observation against Manipur High Court’s acting Chief Justice M.V. Muralidaran, saying that he did not correct his judgment granting quota to majority Meiteis in Manipur, despite being given an opportunity.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said that the high court order was incorrect and “I think we have to stay the order of the high court… we gave justice Muralidaran time to correct himself and he has not done so.”

The bench, also comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala, said that the direction was against the principles laid down by previous judgments of constitutional benches of the apex court, dealing with classification of communities as Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes.

The apex court did not stay the high court order after it was informed that an appeal against it is pending before a division bench of the high court.

The apex court made this observation after learning that an application was filed by the Manipur government before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Muralidaran, and the bench had extended the deadline for the state to abide by its 27 March directive on granting ST status to Meitei.

The tribals are opposing reservation to the Meiteis following the March 27 Manipur High Court order, asking the state government to send a recommendation to the Centre within four weeks on the demand for ST status to the community.

The top court said: “We gave time to Justice Muralidaran to remedy his error and he did not. We have to take a strong view against it now. It is clear if high court judges do not follow constitutional bench judgments, then what should we do…”

The bench said the tribals including Kukis can join the proceedings before the division bench of the high court.


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