DIMAPUR, Sept 12 - A single judge bench of the Gauhati High Court has directed both the factions of Naga People’s Front – one under Dr Shurhozelie (petitioner) and the other under Neiphiu Rio (respondent) – to maintain the status quo till the next hearing after 15 days.The case regarding the use of NPF flag, symbol, letterhead of the party was heard yesterday.
After hearing counsels of both sides, the single judge bench, S Dutta, ruled in favour of the petitioner who had sought passing an interim order, pending the appeal to restrain the opposite (respondent) from using the party flag, symbol, letterhead and also from holding the general convention which is scheduled for September 20.
On the objection from the counsel of the opposite party against the interim order, the judge, said the root cause of the dispute needed to be adjudicated on the basis of the Constitution of the party. Since the opposite party claimed it had submitted the genuine Constitution to the Election Commission of India (ECI), he ordered that the opposite party filed its affidavit with documents relied upon them within 15 days.
Further the judge also reminded the leaders of both sides, who are “among the tallest political leaders in the State”, were aware of the expectation of the people and, therefore, asked them to abide by the Constitution of the NPF party and also restrain their respective supporters from disturbing the peace and tranquility of the State.
The NPF Central led by Dr Shurhozelie said it should abide by the Constitution of the party while describing the High Court order as a vindication of its stand that it is a duly registered party with the ECI, which functions according to the provisions of its Constitution and not by the whims and fancies of any individual or group of Legislators.
It stated that as per the Constitution of NPF, two-thirds of the CEC can write to the president to call for an emergent general convention of the party.
However, it said the “imposters do not muster the required number, nor have anyone written to the president of the party, Dr. Shurhozelie to convene a general convention”.