TODAY -

ATSUM for protection of special provision under Art 371C
Source: Chronicle News Service

Kpi, May 04 2022: All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM) apprised the Governor, the chief minister and the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) chairman for ensuring protection of the special provision guaranteed under Article 371C of the Indian Constitution by revoking and modifying the government's order dated 26th August 2008 and 26th April 2022 .

In a memorandum submitted to Governor La Ganesan, chief minister N Biren and HAC chairman Dinganglung Gangmei, ATSUM said its memorandum is on behalf of tribal population of hill areas numbering around 12 lakh for consideration of the HAC chairman by attracting Article 371C of the Constitution & Item No 7 of the 2nd Schedule of the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order, 1972 .

It also said that HAC was constituted for dealing with the hill matters but the impugned notice dated 26th August 2008 and the order dated 26th April 2022 with respect to hill matters were issued beyond jurisdiction without the consent and approval of the Hill Areas Committee.

The government's office memorandum of August 26, 2008 referred to the recognition of the village issued by the principal secretary (revenue) while the other order (26th April 2022) issued by additional chief secretary(TA&H) referred to the constitution of the Cabinet Sub-Committee to redraft the Rules (Village Recognition Rules in Hill Areas and Valley).

ATSUM explained that the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960 and its Rules, 1961 are not extended in the Hill Areas of Manipur by virtue of the proviso of Section 2 of the MLR & LR Act, 1960 and as such the principal secretary (revenue) has no authority to issue the impugned order (26th August 2008) with respect to villages in the hill areas of Manipur.

By virtue of Article 371C and the subsequent order dated 20th June, 1972 issued by the then President of India W Giri, the Central and the state governments including the revenue department has nothing to do with the land and forest in the hill areas and the villages thereof, and as such, the impugned notice and the order are ab-initio void and cannot be acted upon.

It also said that the department of TA & Hills is incompetent to issue the impugned order without referring the matter to HAC which was constituted under Article 371C of the Constitution.

Hence, the impugned order is ultra vires and is not binding upon the parties, it added.

It further stated that as per the provision guaranteed under Item No 7 of the 2nd Schedule of the Scheduled Matters of the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order dated 20th June 1972, the subject matter of "Village in Hill areas" is absolutely within the purview of HAC, and accordingly HAC is the only competent authority to issue all matters relating to villages in the hill areas.

By issuing the impugned notice and the order, the special provision guaranteed under Article 371C is defeated and thereby reduced to mockery, it added.

The mere executive order cannot supersede the mandatory provision guaranteed under Article 371C of the Constitution while adding that the impugned order is arbitrary, illegal, bias, unconstitutional, discriminatory, ultra vires and ab-initio void, the ATSUM said and demanded revocation of both the orders to protect the special provision guaranteed under Article 371C and the subsequent order.


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