File photo of Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla inaugurating NLUP festival at Aizawl on March 6, 2018. Photo: S Hmar

More than a month after the Mizoram Government failed to formulate guidelines based on transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries, the Aizawl bench of Gauhati High Court has stayed the flagship programme, the New Land Use Policy (NLUP), and ceased the disbursement of assistance under the policy.

This was in compliance with a PIL filed by a social activist, sources said on Wednesday.

Earlier, social activist Vanramchhuangi aka Ruatfela Nu had filed a PIL in the high court, challenging the implementation of NLUP.

Vanramchhuangi alleged that thousands of eligible beneficiaries were deprived of assistance under the flagship programme due to absence of transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries.

She also alleged that the State Government in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner left out as many as six opposition MLAs for selecting beneficiaries, while all the 34 ruling Congress legislators and four other Congress workers were assigned to select beneficiaries from their respective constituencies and areas.

Following the PIL, the High Court on August 3 issued an interim order directing the State Government not to disburse any assistance under the programme till it framed guidelines based on transparent criteria for selection of beneficiaries.

Subsequently, the state government issued a notification on August 10, which has been published in the government gazette on August 27, by which the guidelines for the NLUP-New Economic Development Policy (NEDP) convergence scheme for livelihood project has been notified with immediate effect.

The petitioner’s counsel, C. Lalramzauva, on Tuesday submitted to the high court that the perusal of the government notification on August 10 does not show that the state government has framed guidelines for selection of beneficiaries under the NLUP project as directed by the high court on August 3.

The order issued by the Aizawl bench of the High Court, said the government should stop disbursing assistance under the NLUP programme till it framed proper guidelines.

The next hearing is slated for September 18.

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