TODAY -

TLCC issues rejoinder to clarification by Secretary to the CM on Bills

All Tribal Leaders Consultative Committee (TLCC) *

ILP : The Manipur Land Revenues & Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill, 2015 :: August 31 2015
ILP : The Manipur Land Revenues & Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill, 2015 :: August 31 2015



The All Tribal Leaders Consultative Committee (TLCC) is constrained to issue this clarification in connection with the point by point clarification issued by the Secretary to the Chief Minister of Manipur dated September 8 on the controversial Bills viz. (1) Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015, (2) Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms ( Seventh Amendment Bill, 2015 and (3) Manipur Shops and Establishment ( Second Amendment) Bill, 2015.

1. The Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015:
(1) Question whether this is a Money Bill: The Government introduced this Bill as Money Bill and obtained
Recommendation of the Governor under Clauses (1) and (3) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India.)
(a) The Preamble to the Bill spells out the objective - “to provide protection, maintenance of socio-economic and cultural balance of the Manipur People and for maintenance of peace and public order...and regulation of entry into and exit from Manipur for Non-Manipur persons and tenants”.

(b) Area of coverage: Clause (2) of Section 1. It shall extend to the whole of the State of Manipur.

(c) Statement of Objects and Reasons - Manipur is small Hill State is objectionable as this is no where mention in the Constitution. With geographical area of 22,327 Sq. Km., the Hill Area covers 20,089 Sq. Km and the Valley has only 2,238 Sq. Km. The fear of influx of outsiders caused panic in the mind of the people of Manipur. Hence the need for regulation and control.

(d) Expenditure (Money) involved: Reference to financial Memorandum: For infrastructure development which is a Non-recurring expenditure an amount of Rs. 10.00 crore has been earmarked. An approximate sum of Rs.80.00 lakh per annum earmarked for salaries, maintenance etc.

Money Bill is defined under Clauses (1) and (3) of the Constitution of India. Money Bill relates to imposition of taxes and expenditures likely to involved transaction affecting the Consolidated Fund of the Union or the State. In the above Bill, the Preamble, the Objectives and Reasons and coverage of area are not at all related to any taxation or expenditure matters which will affect the Consolidated Fund of the State Government.

The very title of the Bill i.e. Protection of Manipur People Bill - itself suggest the social security objectives and not taxation/monetary objective. The Expenditure involve for development of infrastructure, salaries and maintenance are secondary which will affect the Consolidated Fund of the State involving financial expenses both recurring and non-recurring. But the Spirit of the Bill has its social security objectives. Hence the Bill fails to fulfill the criteria of a Money Bill.

Moreover since the Act shall extend to the whole State of Manipur it invariably affects the hill people. Therefore, the State Government by not referring the Bill to HAC violates the provisions of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of Assembly - Rules 159 and 160.

By introducing the said Bill in the Assembly and deliberately by-passing the Hill Areas Committee is in violation of the provisions of - The Manipur Legislative Assembly (HILL AREAS COMMITTEE) ORDER, 1972: -Articles 4 Clause (1) All Scheduled matters in so far as they relate to the Hill Areas shall be within the purview of the HAC. and Clause (2) Every Bill, other than a Money Bill affecting wholly or partly the Hill Areas and containing mainly provisions dealing with any of the Scheduled matters shall, after introduction in the Assembly, be referred to the HAC for consideration and report to the Assembly Hence, the claim of the Government that the said Bill is Money Bill is totally untenable as per law and absolutely misleading to the people.

THE OTHER ASPECT OF THE BILL: The government has clarified that sub-section (b) of Section 2 is intended for outsider/Non-Manipur persons who migrated into the State since 1951 and does not apply to the people of Manipur who were born, are born, lived and living in the State and protected under Clause (b) of Section 8 being - “Native People of the State of Manipur”. The Government has also clarified that under Clause (a) of Section 8 that “Native People” includes all sections/tribes living in Manipur (Hills & Valley).

But on closer examination it is revealed that those persons who fulfill the three criteria under Clause (b) of Section 2 will be Native people of the State as inserted under Clause (a) of Section 8 of the already passed Bill, 2015. The term Native people is nowhere defined in the Act and does not come within the purview of Clause (b) of Section 2 of the said Bill passed by the Manipur Assembly on 31-08-2015. If the State Government intends to exclude the Tribals from the provision of Clause (b) of Section 2, the term “Non-Tribal residents of Manipur” should have been used instead of “Persons of Manipur”. In essence, if the Act is to be implemented almost 70% of the Tribal population in the hill areas will be excluded from the purview of Section 2 (b) of the Act and will be mated as A/on- Manipur persons under Section 2 (c) of the Act with disastrous consequences.

Hence, the Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015, passed by the Manipur Legislative Assembly is indicative of the deliberate intention of the Government to infringe on the rights and privilege of the Tribals people and gross violation of Article 371 C of the Indian Constitution.

2. The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment Bill, 2O15:
Evidence is on record that the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960 has already been extended to the Hill Areas from time to time under Section 1(2) of the MLR & LR (Amendment) Act, 1975 in violation of Subsection (2) of Section 1 of the Act. Already large pockets of plain areas of Churachandpur, Ukhrul, Senapati ZK (including Sadar Hits) and Tamenglong Districts under wetland cultivation and whole of international border town - Moreh and the district capital Churchandpur and its vicinity have been brought under the MLR & LR Act, 1960 by virtue of insertion of “Proviso to sub-section of Sect. 1” as per Manipur Act No. 13 of 1976 published in the Manipur Gazette dated 24-05-76, Therefore, the insertion of the new Section 14 A and 14 B after Section 14 0/ the Principal Act in the present Amendment Bill is nothing but a ploy to further extend the MLR & LR Act to the vshole hill areas of Manipur.

Interestingly, a critical analyses and legal interpretation will reveal that the permission for transfer of land from tribal to non-tribal can be given by the Deputy Commissioner subject to the consent of the District Council as per Clause (b) of’Section 158 of the Principal Act of the MLR & LR Act, 1960 which says that -”where the transfer is to a person who is not a member of any such tribe, it is made with the previous permission in writing to the Dy. Commissioner, provided that the D.C. shall not give such permission unless he has first secured the consent thereto of the District Council within whose jurisdiction the land lies”. Whereas in contrary to the Principal Act the propose MLR & LR Act (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015 reads as follows:
“Whereas under Section 158 of the MLR & LR Act, 1960, land belonging to a Scheduled Tribe in the Valley Areas cannot be sold to a non- Scheduled Tribe without the prior consent of the Dy. Commissioner concerned...”. Here we notice in the propose (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015 the words “valley areas” has been cleverly inserted under Section 158 which was not there in the Principal Act, 1960.

Secondly, whereas it is mandatory on the part of the Deputy Commissioners to secure the consent of the District Council as per the Principal Act, the inherent power of the District Council has been deleted by omitting the words “District Council” and by insertion of the two Sections 14 A & 14 B and thereby vesting all powers with the Deputy Commissioners who can by-pass the District Council and obtain the approval of the State Cabinet which is violative of the provisions of Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971.

Hence, in a nutshell, by insertion of the new Section 14 which reads as “...who intend to purchase any land in the State of Manipur...” as per the MLR & LR (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015, all Non-Manipur persons living in Manipur (Hill & Valley) shall be entitle to purchase land in the hill areas. Though the term ‘’native people” is not defined anywhere in the proposed new Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015, but as clarified by the CM’s Secretariat, it is assumed that native people includes all sections/tribes living in Manipur (Hills & Valley). Therefore, by process of simple application submitted to the Deputy Commissioners any native person (including Meiteis) can now purchase any land in the State of Manipur subject to approval of the State Cabinet.

In finality, the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015, whose subject matter is purchase and acquiring of land is in letter and spirit not a Money Bill. The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Manipur Legislative Assembly - Rules 159 and 160 has therefore been violated. By introducing the said Bill in the Assembly and deliberately by-passing the Hill Areas Committee is an act of violation of the provisions of - The Manipur Legislative Assembly (HILL AREAS COMMITTEE) ORDER, 1972 :• Articles 4 Clause (1) All Scheduled matters in so far as they relate to the Hill Areas shall be within the purview of the HAC and Clause (2) - Every Bill, other than a Money Bill affecting wholly or partly the Hill Areas and containing mainly provisions dealing with any of the Scheduled matters shall, after introduction in the Assembly, be referred to the HAC for consideration and report to the Assembly. Hence, the claim of the Government it is a Money Bill is totally untenable as per law and absolutely misleading to the people.

3. The Manipur Shops and Establishment (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015.
The Principal Act provides for registration of Shops/Establishment and regulation of employment. The Amendment sought to provide for Registration of Employees by the Employers and to issue Identity Cards to the Employees. This law applies to the whole of Manipur and affects the Hill Areas as well.

The Bill also attracts Social & Customs, which is enshrined in the Schedule Matters, Clause (12) under the Second Schedule of the Hill Areas Committee Order, 1972 because Shops and Establishment shall be established not only in the Valley areas but also in the Hill areas as well. Yet, the said Bill was passed without referring to the HAC for consideration which is against the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Manipur Legislative Assembly.

The passing of this Bill tantamount to infringement of the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order, 1972. Articles 4 Clause (1) All Scheduled matters in so far as they relate to the Hill Areas shall be within the purview of the HAC. Clause (2) - Every Bill, other than a Money Bill affecting wholly or partly the Hill Areas and containing mainly provisions dealing with any of the Scheduled matters shall after introduction in the Assembly, be referred to the HAC for consideration and report to the Assembly. Hence the claim of the Government that the said Bill is Money Bill is totally untenable as per law and absolutely misleading to the people.

(Issued by Tongthang Kipgen, President: Tribal Leaders Consultative Committee)


* Tribal Leaders Consultative Committee wrote this article for Huieyen Lanpao
This article was posted on September 28 2015.


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