GUWAHATI, Nov 3 � The Gauhati High Court today directed both the Union and State Governments to constitute a five-member high-power committee for official verification of the disputed issue of encroachment and presence of illegal migrants in the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) at the time of resettlement of the encroachers from the proposed Sixth Addition areas of the Park.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice (Acting) K Shreedhar Rao and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, also directed the State Revenue as well as Forest Departments to submit a progress report relating to the measures undertaken in the immediate and short-term plan to tackle poaching and to remove the encroachment from the Sixth Addition areas proposed to be handed over to the KNP authorities for expansion of the Park. The Court has fixed December 8, 2014 as the date for submission of the report.
The court after taking up the suo moto Public Interest Litigation (PIL) (No 66/12) relating to issues of poaching of rhinos in the KNP and encroachment on its areas, considered the plea of presence of illegal migrants in the National Park, as raised in a miscellaneous application filed by 21 advocates and also the opposite assertion of the State Government, and directed constitution of the five-member high-power committee.
The high-power committee is to comprise representatives from the Union Ministries of Home Affairs, Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the State Government Departments of Revenue, Home and Environment and Forests.
In the court, the State Government was represented by Additional Advocate General Devajit Saikia, while the newly impleaded group of advocates was represented by senior advocate Niloy Dutta. The High Court was represented in the case by senior advocate PJ Mahanta.