TODAY -

Ex-CM asks: Can a State Bill supersede CAB ?
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 10 2019: Ex-Chief Minister and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Okram Ibobi has categorically asked the BJP-led State Government whether a Bill passed by the State Assembly can supersede or neutralise the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 which has been passed by the Lok Sabha but deferred in Rajya Sabha.

Speaking to media persons at Congress Bhavan here today, Ibobi pointed out that the Manipur People Protection Bill 2018 has not been given assent by the President.

Quoting Chief Minister N Biren's statement that they would go to New Delhi and urge the President and the Prime Minister to give assent to the Bill and the CM's appeal to the people of Manipur not to be afraid of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) 2016, Ibobi asked if the Chief Minister was thinking that the people and legal experts of the State are totally ignorant about the implications of the CAB 2016 .

Asking if the Manipur People Protection Bill can supersede or neutralise the CAB 2016, Ibobi asserted that the base year of the Assam Accord would be changed from 1972 to 2014 once CAB becomes an Act and there is a growing fear that the Assam Accord would be rendered toothless.

The Central Government has sparked a massive civil protest movement throughout the North East region after it passed the CAB in Lok Sabha without giving any thought to the possible impacts of the Bill to the people of the North East, he remarked and added that the State Government need to convene a meeting of all political parties on the issue.

Veteran politician Okram Joy expressed surprise over Chief Minister N Biren's claim that the CAB would be neutralised by the Manipur People Protection Bill.

The Chief Minister's statement that the Bill passed by the Lok Sabha would be made ineffective in Manipur and the State Government would urge the Centre to give assent to the Manipur People Protection Bill is hard to digest, Joy remarked.

Both the Parliament and the State Assembly have authority to enact laws, and the Constitution serves as the supreme laws of the country.

If there is any contradiction between laws enacted by the Parliament and a State Assembly, the one enacted by the Parliament would overrule the other and this is clearly written in Article 254 of the Indian Constitution, according to O Joy.

Once the CAB becomes an Act, the Manipur People Protection Bill will never be given presidential assent, Joy said.

The State Government's idea of neutralising the CAB by the Manipur People Protection Bill is rather surprising.

Both the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister must be certainly knowing that all Bills aimed at protecting indigenous peoples would be rendered ineffective once the CAB 2016 is passed, said Joy and further remarked that the NDA-Government led by Prime Minister adopts a double-standard approach with respect to the North East region.

MLA Kh Joykisan remarked that Chief Minister N Biren's announcement that the State Government would stick to the resolution adopted by the State Assembly instead of following the dictates of the Central Government blindly is akin to filing an appeal at High Court against a judgement passed by the Supreme Court.

He then demanded a special session of the State Assembly to deliberate on the issue of CAB.


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