Update from ZSF Legal Desk | 28th March 2024

New Delhi, 28 March 2024: In today’s hearing before the Delhi High Court, UPSC, submitted that only those candidates from Lamka and Kangpokpi who opted for Imphal as an examination centre, will be allowed to change their centre. 

In addition, the State of Manipur submitted they can’t provide transport because candidates travelling in a large group by bus or other means is a security risk, and the Manipur Government cannot guarantee security. 

Instead, they will provide: 

1. Rs. 1,000 per day for boarding and lodging expenditure for 3 days; and 

2. Reimbursement for travel costs with the ceiling of state notified bus rates. 

Our legal team led by Adv. Nizam Pasha, strongly objected to both on the following grounds:

First, if the Manipur Government cannot arrange transport on the premise that they can’t guarantee security, how can candidates who are private citizens, be left to travel on their own without any assurance of safety? Is this not a complete abdication of responsibility to ensure security and law and order by the Government of Manipur? 

Second, given the geographical division in Manipur and the population transfer along ethnic lines, no one from Churachandpur and Kangpokpi, would have opted for Imphal as a centre in the first place. 

For UPSC to allow only those candidates who chose for Imphal as an examination centre will be given the option to change their centre, practically means no/zero relief for Kuki-Zomi-Hmar candidates. 

Third, while the original prayer was to establish UPSC examination centres in Lamka and Kangpokpi, to limit the relief of providing the option to change centres only to candidates in Lamka and Kangpokpi is highly unfair. There are candidates from the Kuki-Zomi-Hmar communities in the other Hill Districts like Pherzawl, Tengnoupal and Chandel and they are likely to lose out if this is not corrected. 

Fourth, in any event, the amount sanctioned by the Manipur Government is too meagre and ignores the present day realities/cost of travelling from Manipur to other states.

Despite our repeated efforts to get the Hon’ble Delhi High Court to ask difficult questions from Manipur Government for the completely self-contradictory submissions, the Delhi High Court was reluctant to second-guess the submissions made by GoM on the security concerns expressed by them. The High Court accepted the submissions of UPSC and GoM and passed an order. 

All of the above being said, we request our Zo (Kuki-Zomi-Hmar) community and especially our UPSC CSE aspirants to continue to persevere in the light of these circumstances. 

We are awaiting the text of the final order. We will study it and are actively exploring all available legal remedies. All legal options remain open. 

We shall continue the fight. We shall overcome one day. May God help us.



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