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Court issues notice of motion on MGNREGS
Correspondent IMPHAL, Mar 30:
Published on 31 Mar. 2011 12:32 AM IST
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The Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench Wednesday issued a notice of motion to authority of the Manipur government, returnable with four weeks, for non-payment of unemployment allowance.
The notice was issued in response to the writ petition filed by 14 job card holders of Naoriya Pakhanglakpa Gram Panchayat alleging that the unemployment allowance gettable by them is not clear till date despite the fact that Ombudsman, MGNREGS, Imphal West, had issued an award.
The writ petition was the first of its kind in Manipur in approaching the court for non-payment of unemployment allowance to the job card holders under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Health Employment Guarantee Scheme, Manipur, which was framed by the Manipur government under section 4 of the MGNREGA.
The section 4 states that every job card holder is entitled to get unemployment allowance as and when the authority concerned failed to provide employment within 15 days from the date of submission of application for work by the job card holders.
A year back on April 18, 2010, the 14 job card holders of Naoriya Pakhanglakpa Gram panchayat had submitted their application for work to the authority of the Gram Panchayat for providing employment under the MGNREGS.
However, the authority failed to provide job to them within the stipulated period and as such they had approached the panchayat secretary concerned on July 15, 2010 by submitting their separate applications, seeking unemployment allowances.
When the authority failed to pay the allowance, they go to the Imphal West MGNREGS Ombudsman for taking up necessary action so as to enable them to get their employment allowances. Consequently, on August 2010, the Ombudsman disposed the joint complaint by directing the programme officer concerned to pay the unemployment allowances to the 14 applicants.
When the programme officer failed to translate into work the directive of the Ombudsman, the 14 job card holders filed a writ petition to the Gauhati High Court, Imphal bench alleging that the non-clearance of the allowance was tantamount to violation of the rights to life of the job card holders enshrined in the Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. They further alleged that the programme officer willfully dishonour the directive of the Ombudsman.
The hearing of the petition was held today in the court of Justice Ashok Potshangbam and issued the notice of motion. Meihoubam Rakesh was the counsel of the petitioners of the case, which the respondents were Manipur government’s commissioner (rural development and panchayati raj), the district programme co-ordinator, Imphal West district, the programme officer, Imphal West CD block, Wangoi and the Union of India through secretary of rural development.

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