SC tells Govt to sort out northeast boundary row
The court was hearing a civil suit filed in 1988 by the Assam Govt, claiming jurisdiction over areas in the neighbouring states of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.india Updated: Feb 10, 2006 20:36 IST
The Supreme Court on Friday gave the central government three weeks to decide on a suggestion to set up a commission to resolve a boundary dispute between the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
A bench comprising Chief Justice YK Sabharwal and judge CK Thakker granted the time after Attorney General Milon K Banerjee told the court he would like to seek instructions from the Government on the question of setting up the boundary commission.
The bench asked the Government to suggest names for the posts of chairman and other members of the proposed commission.
The court was hearing a civil suit filed in 1988 by the Assam government, claiming jurisdiction over areas in the neighbouring states of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
The bench was of the view that the boundaries of these states had already been defined in the constitution, and the commission was needed only to demarcate the borders.
Banerjee said the problem required a political solution and this could be achieved through a constitutional amendment in parliament.
Appearing for the Assam government, senior counsel KK Venugopal said the court could not demarcate boundaries, a task that had to be performed by the boundary commission.
Venugopal suggested the Surveyor General of India and some army officers should be made part of the proposed commission as they had better knowledge of the disputed areas.
Counsel for Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh governments referred to a 1925 law that gave them more territory and suggested that there should be a political solution to the problem.
The court had on September 13, 2004 asked the central government to suggest names for the proposed boundary commission and sought undertakings from the three states that they would cooperate with such a panel.
But after the central government said it was yet to take a decision on the matter, the court had adjourned proceedings.
First Published: Feb 10, 2006 20:00 IST