Judiciary leaves details of roster system to executive, legislature

April 4, 2023 by MT Bureau

Staff Reporter

Shillong, April 4: The Meghalaya High Court today said how far back the roster system would be made applicable, these are policy matters that are best left to the legislature and the executive of the state.

In its order, the division bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee has dismissed a PIL filed by one Greneth M Sangma without going into the merits of the matter pertaining to the roster system for reserved seats in the State and said, “The Court may be called upon to look into the matter at a more appropriate stage.”

The Court said the judicial notice needs to be taken of the discussions pertaining to the roster in the new Assembly.

ALSO READ: Meghalaya Roster system row: 'Allegation on promoting communalism baseless, erroneous', says VPP

“However, it does not appear that any decision has yet been taken as to a cut-off date or the like or how far back the roster system would be made applicable. These are policy matters that are best left to the legislature and the executive and upon a firm stand being taken, it will be open to any citizen affected thereby to question the propriety thereof in accordance with law,” it said while adding that “As of now, and without a decision in such regard having been taken by the Assembly which is actively discussing the matter, the present petition should not be entertained.”

The Court also stated that this petition, apparently filed in the public interest, appears to be an attempt to muddy the already disturbed waters.

ALSO READ: Meghalaya CM says roster system in place as per HC order; VPP wants roster system on hold

The order said it was discovered in the year 2022, quite accidentally in course of a service matter before a Division Bench of this Court, that though the reservation policy had been in place in this State since its inception in January, 1972, there was no roster that had been prepared.

Accordingly, this Court took suo motu cognisance of such irregularity and required all appointments to be stayed till a roster was prepared.

Certain ancillary directions were also issued. A roster was prepared.

The Court noticed that a roster had been prepared and the matter was given a quietus without going into the veracity of the roster that was prepared and upon prima facie satisfaction that the roster adhered to the extent of reservation of about 85 per cent that is in vogue in the State, the order stated.