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SC dismisses plea on Mukul's tribal status

 SHILLONG, Sep 18 (IANS): The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition challenging the Scheduled Tribe status of Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Manda Sangma.

A division bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit dismissed the petition filed by Tennydard M. Marak, a former Congress leader from Meghalaya, and the All Northeast Indigenous Garo Law Promoters' Association (ANEIGLPA).

"The Supreme Court dismissed the petition challenging the tribal status of Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma leaving the petitioner with the liberty to work out his alternative remedy to take up the matter with any other forum," Ranjan Mukherjee, counsel for the Meghalaya government, told IANS over phone from New Delhi.

Marak had filed a writ petition alleging that Sangma fraudulently obtained the Scheduled Tribe certificate by "misrepresentation and suppressing the material facts".

The ANEIGLPA alleged that Mukul Sangma does not belong to the Sangma clan and that he used his surname only to obtain a Scheduled Tribe certificate.

On October 7, 2013, the Meghalaya High Court dismissed as "non-maintainable" a public interest litigation challenging the Scheduled Tribe status of Sangma.

The Manda clan, to which Sangma belongs, had come out in Sangma's defence.

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