Supreme Court asks West Bengal to file High Court orders on pleas against Gorkhaland law

The five-year term for Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik municipalities had come to an end in December last year.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the West Bengal government to file on record the orders passed by the Calcutta High Court in matters challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Act.

“West Bengal government is required to place on record the orders passed by the Calcutta High Court in all pending matters wherein the vires of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Act have sought to be challenged,” a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said.

The bench, which also comprised Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said it would like to peruse the orders passed by the High Court and listed the plea of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) for hearing on April 20.

Senior advocate P P Rao, appearing for GTA, said it was an elected body and the state government was not holding even the civic polls in the areas falling under it.

Earlier, GTA had moved the top court challenging the West Bengal government’s refusal to transfer administrative power and various subjects to it, in spite of a tripartite agreement that was reached between the Gorkha agitators, the state and the Centre in 2011.

The apex court had agreed to hear the plea and asked the GTA to place on record the notification issued by the West Bengal government in 2011, in which it had promised a transfer of power through a memorandum of agreement (MoA) at the tripartite meeting.

The MoA for the creation of GTA was signed on July 18, 2011 at Pintail Village near Siliguri in the presence of then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders.

Recently, the GTA has moved the High Court against the state government and Election Commission for alleged delay in holding of elections to four municipalities in Darjeeling hills.

The five-year term for Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik municipalities had come to an end in December last year.

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