SHILLONG, Feb 25: Public Interest Litigations (PILs ) can go a long way towards solving a number of problems faced in Meghalaya at present according to senior advocate of the Supreme Court, Colin Gonsalves.
Speaking during the State Level Consultation on Human Rights in Meghalaya organized by Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in collaboration with the Shillong Law College, Gonsalves said that the stand on Uranium mining as highlighted by the KSU chief L Marngar during the consultation can be single handedly taken by him before the Court.
“PIL is very powerful and your skill is like a weapon. For instance if there is no drinking water, find out the facts and start practicing public litigation,” Gonsalves said to the young lawyers attending the consultation.
He also pointed out that a single PIL had ensured that all institutions in Sikkim constituted sexual harassment committees.
Similarly in the case of Manipur where due to operation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1958, armed forces as per a representation in the Supreme Court have killed over 1500 persons in the past three decades.
“The Court last year had maintained that a person in uniform has no right to kill a person,” he stated.
He also pointed out how a PIL halt the mining activities in Goa for three year adding that similar steps can be taken to address the concern expressed over the dead rivers in Meghalaya due to indiscriminate pollution.
Earlier while speaking on the rise in crimes against women and children, Civil Society Women Organization (CSWO) chief Agnes Kharshiing lambasted the failure of the system in tackling issues related to women and children.
“Crimes against women and children are rising because there are some police who are busy in political king making,” she said.
Thma U Rangli Juki (TUR) leader Angela Rangad spoke at length on the issue related to the hawkers’ rights while Michael Syiem of the Maitshaphrang Movement highlighted the social challenges arising out of increasing broken homes in the state.
Various cases of alleged human rights violations were deliberated upon during the one-day long consultation meet.