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NGO gets Rs 10 cr defamation notice from Govt

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, July 23 - One of the NGOs in the State capital has so far been served two defamation notices of Rs 5 crore each by the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA.)

The NGO, Civil society Women�s Organisation (CSWO) president, Agnes Kharshiing, who has been served the notices, said �the Government is trying to suppress her voice� through the defamation notices.

Today, a lower court issued the defamation notice of Rs 5 crore against Kharshiing for sending a memorandum to Chief Minister Mukul Sangma after the Cabinet proposed amendment to the MUDA building bye laws. Kharshiing claimed it was being done to �legalise violations.� She further claimed that some of the violators of the MUDA building bye laws are �influential and well-connected people,� and so the Government was bending over backwards to help these people.

�The statement is highly defamatory, damaging, malicious and inflammable and seems to have targeted to arouse the local sentiments in relation to the regulation of the construction and maintenance of buildings in the urban areas of the State by MUDA,� the State Government said in the defamation notice. The Meghalaya Government has proposed amending the building byelaws recently. The height of buildings has been brought down from 19 to 17 meters. However, the initial height of high-rise building is still above the prescribed limits of the original Meghalaya building byelaws of 2001.

In the 2001 byelaw, the maximum height of buildings was fixed at 13 meters. �I didn�t defame the Government, I only pointed out the flaws in governance and every law abiding citizen has a right to do that,� Kharshiing said.

Earlier, Kharshiing was also served another Rs 5 crore defamation notice by MUDA for questioning the land acquisition process by the Government at New Shillong Township at the city suburbs.

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NGO gets Rs 10 cr defamation notice from Govt

SHILLONG, July 23 - One of the NGOs in the State capital has so far been served two defamation notices of Rs 5 crore each by the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA.)

The NGO, Civil society Women�s Organisation (CSWO) president, Agnes Kharshiing, who has been served the notices, said �the Government is trying to suppress her voice� through the defamation notices.

Today, a lower court issued the defamation notice of Rs 5 crore against Kharshiing for sending a memorandum to Chief Minister Mukul Sangma after the Cabinet proposed amendment to the MUDA building bye laws. Kharshiing claimed it was being done to �legalise violations.� She further claimed that some of the violators of the MUDA building bye laws are �influential and well-connected people,� and so the Government was bending over backwards to help these people.

�The statement is highly defamatory, damaging, malicious and inflammable and seems to have targeted to arouse the local sentiments in relation to the regulation of the construction and maintenance of buildings in the urban areas of the State by MUDA,� the State Government said in the defamation notice. The Meghalaya Government has proposed amending the building byelaws recently. The height of buildings has been brought down from 19 to 17 meters. However, the initial height of high-rise building is still above the prescribed limits of the original Meghalaya building byelaws of 2001.

In the 2001 byelaw, the maximum height of buildings was fixed at 13 meters. �I didn�t defame the Government, I only pointed out the flaws in governance and every law abiding citizen has a right to do that,� Kharshiing said.

Earlier, Kharshiing was also served another Rs 5 crore defamation notice by MUDA for questioning the land acquisition process by the Government at New Shillong Township at the city suburbs.