TODAY -

Granting ST status is the job of Parliament, not judiciary : STDCM
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 03 2024: The Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur (STDCM) has asserted that only Parliament and the Government can have the final say on declaring a community as a Scheduled Tribe and added that the judiciary is not empowered to take a final call on the said subject.

Addressing a press briefing at Ima Khunthokhanbi Shanglen at DM College complex today, STDCM joint secretary Laishram Brijkishore said that there is some confusion among a section of people due to misreporting of the recent Manipur High Court order on deleting Para number 17 (iii) of the judgment passed by then Chief Justice of the same Court on March 27 last year by some National media houses with regard to Meetei/Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status.



Granting ST status is the job of Parliament, not judiciary : STDCM
Granting ST status is the job of Parliament, not judiciary : STDCM


Para 17 clause (iii) of the judgment says "The first respondent shall consider the case of the petitioner for inclusion of the Meetei/Meitei community in the ST list, expeditiously, preferably within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order," as per the STDCM leader.

The petition was filed by the Meetei (Meitei) Tribe Union.

Saying that some media houses, unfortunately, published the judgment of the High Court with a misleading narrative as if the Meitei's demand for ST status has been dropped or rejected by the Court, Brijkishore continued that such misleading reports has caused confusion among the people.

The fact of the matter is that the issue pertaining to the ST status demand by Meitei/Meetei is not in the jurisdiction of any Court as per the law of the land, he clarified.

Brijkishore went on to state that lodging a complaint on matter pertaining to the ST demand at a Court won't be maintainable as per legal experts they (STDCM) have consulted with.

Saying that many people had advised the STDCM to take the help of the Court to take forward the demand to enlist Meetei/Meitei in the ST list, Brijkishore continued that they did discuss the matter of taking the help of the judiciary with experts but came to learn that it won't be tenable.

To grant ST status to any community is not in the jurisdiction of a Court and the same position was affirmed by the ruling of the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court in "State of Maharashtra vs Milind & Ors., (2001) 1 SCC 4", he said.

The only complaint which can be taken to a Court in connection with Meetei/Meitei's demand for ST status is about the non-disposal of the letter sent by the Centre to the State on May 29, 2013 till date, Brijkishiore said and added that the matter may have reached the Manipur High Court over the failure of the State Government to send the recommendation sought by the Centre.

He went on to state that the judgment given by the Manipur High Court last year on sending the recommendation sought by the Centre was misquoted by a section of people and construed as the Court taking sides.

Reiterating that the decision to grant ST status has to be taken by the Government and the Parliament and not by the Court, Brijkishore added that the State Government not sending the recommendation to the Centre is a roadblock to the Meetei/Meitei's demand for ST.

Saying that STDCM has submitted a memorandum each to all Meetei/Meitei MLAs and Ministers to send the recommendation in January 2024, Brijkishore appealed to all the MLAs and Ministers concerned to do the needful in the interest of the people.

It is indispensable to grant ST status to Meetei/Meitei to secure its future, he said and asked the State Government to take the matter very seriously and take a collective decision to send the recommendation and ensure Constitutional safe- guard of the ethnic group.

Brijkishore further appealed to the State Government to address the apprehension of those already included in the ST list and to convince them that addition of Meetei/Meitei in the ST will be beneficial to all.


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