Chapter 38: SCHEDULED AREAS AND TRIBAL AREAS





  • AS stated earlier, in the original Constitution of 1949, States were divided into three categories and Included in Parts A, B and C of the First Schedule of the Constitution.


  • Part C States were 10 in number, namely,-Ajmer, Bhopal, Bllaspur, Coorg, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Kutch, Manlpur, Tripura and Vlndhya Pradesh.


  • Of these. Himachal Pradesh, Bhopal, Bllaspur, Kutch, Manipur, Tdpura and Vindhya Pradesh had been formed by the integration of some of the smaller Indian States.


  • The remaining States of Ajmer, Coerg and Delhi were Chief Commissioner's Provinces under the Government of Indla Acts, 1919 and 1935.


  • And were thus administered by the Centre even before the Constitution. The special feature of these Part C States was that they were administered by the President through a Chief Commissioner or a Lieutenant-Governor, acting as his agent.


  • Parliament had legislative power relating to any subject as regards the Part C States, but the Constitution empowered Parliament to create a Legislature as well as a Council of Advisers or Ministers for a Part C State.


  • In exercise of this power, Parliament enacted the Government of Part C States Act, 1951, by which a Council of Advisers or Ministers was set up in each Part C State, to advise the Chief Commissioner, under the overall control of the President, and also a Legislative Assembly to function as the Legislature of the State, without derogation to the plenary powers of Parliament.


  • In place of these Part C States, the Constitution (7th Amendment) Act, 1956 substituted the category of 'Union Territories' which are also Similarly administered by the union.


  • As a result of the reorganisation af the States by the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, the Part C States of Ajmer, Bhopal, Coorg, Kutch, and Vindhya Pradesh were merged into other adjoining States.


  • The list of Union Territories, accordingly, included the remaining Part C States of Delhi; Himachal Pradesh (which included Bilaspur); Manipur; Union Territories. and Tripura.


  • To these were added the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; and the Laccadive and Amindivi. Islands.


  • Under the original Constitution, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were included in Part D of the First Schedule.


  • The Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands (renamed 'Lakshadweep' In 1973), on the other hand, were included In the territory of the State of Madras.


  • The States Reorganisation Act and the Constitution (7th Amendment) Act. 1956 abolished Part D of Schedule and constituted it a separate Union Territory.


  • By the Constitution (Tenth, Twelfth, Fourteenth and Twenty-seventh) Amendment Acts, some others were added to the list of Union Territories. Since some of the erstwhile Union Territories (Himachal Pradesh, Manlpur, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa) have been lifted up into the category of 'States', the number of Union Territories is, at the end of 2000, seven


  • Though all these Union Territories belong to one category. there are some differences in the actual system of administration as between the several Union Territories owing to the provisions of the Constitution as well as of Acts of Parliament which have been made in pursuance of the Constitutional provisions.







  • Article 239(J) provides that save as otherwise provided by Parliament by law, every Union Territory shall be administered by the President acting, to such extent as he thinks fit, through an Administrator to be appointed by him with such designation as be may specify.


  • Instead of appointing an Administrator from outside, the President may appoint the Governor of a State as the Administrator of an adjoining Union Terntory;


  • and where a Governor is so appointed, he shall exercise his functions as such Administrator Independently of his Council of Ministers [Art. 239(2)].


  • All the Union Territories are thus administered by an Administrator as the agent of the President and not by a Governor acting as the head of a State.






  • In 1962, however, Art. 239A (amended by the 37th Amendment, 1974) was introduced In the Constitution, to empower Parliament to create a Legislature or Council of Ministers or both for some of the Union Territories.


  • By virtue of this power, Parliament enacted the Govern- ment of Union Territories Act, 1963, providing for a Legislative Assembly as well as a Council of Ministers to advise the Administrator, in these Union Territories.


  • Pondicherry alone is now left in this category, all other Union Territories have become States.


  • On 1-2-1992, Arts. 239AA and 239AB (inserted by Constitution 69th Amendment) came into force.


  • To supplement these provisions the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 was enacted.


  • Delhi has from 1993 a Legislative Assembly and a Council of Ministers. The Government of Delhi has all the legislative powers in the State List excepting entries 1 (Public Order), 2 (police) and 18 (Land).


  • Parliament has exclusive legislative power over a Union Territory including matters which are enumerated In the State List [Art. 246(4)).


  • But so far as the two groups of Island Territories; Dadra and Nagar Havell; Daman and Diu; Pondicherry; are concerned, the President has got a legislative power, namely, to make regulations for the peace, progress and good government of these Territories.


  • This power of the President overrides the legislative power of Parliament inasmuch as a regulation made by the President as regards these Territories may repeal or amend any Act of Parliament which is for the time being applicable to the Union Territory [Art: 240(2)1.


  • But the President's power to make regulations shall remain suspended while the Legislature is functioning in any of these States,-to be revived as soon as such Legislature is dissolved or suspended.


  • Parliament may by law constitute a High Court for a Union Territory or declare any court in any such Territory to be a High Court for all or any of the purposes of this Constitution [Art. 241].


  • Until such legislation is made High Courts for the existing union Territories shall continue to execise their jurisdiction.


  • In the result, the Punjab and Haryana High Court acts as the High Court of Chandigarh: the Lakshadweep is under the Jurisdiction of the Kerala High Court;


  • The Calcutta High Court has got jurisdiction over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Madras High Court has Jurisdiction over Pondicherry; the Bombay high court over Dadra and Nagar Haveli; and the Gauhati High Court (Assam) over Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.


  • The Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu had a Judicial Commissioner but recently the jurisdiction of the Bombay High Court has been extended to this Territory. Delhi has a separate High Court of its own since 1966.






  • There are no separate provisions in the Constitution relating to the administration of Acquired Territories but the provisions relating to Union Territories will extend by virtue of ther definition of 'Union Territory' [Art. 366(30)], as including "any other territory comprised within the territory of India but not specified in that Schedule".


  • Thus, the Territory of Pondicherry, Karaikal, Yanam and Mahe, was being administered by the President of India through a Chief Commissioner until It was made a Union Territory, in 1962.


  • Parliament has plenary power of legislation regarding such territory as in the case of the Union Territories [Art. 246(4)].


Introduction

Fifth schedule: Administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas in India except states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

Sixth schedule: Administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas in states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Manipur.

Administration as per fifth schedule:


  1. President can notify, denotify, renotify, and alter boundaries of scheduled areas in a state after consulting the governor concerned.
  2. Governor has to submit reports on administration of such areas annually or as president may determine. Centre can give directions to the states for administration of such areas.
  3. Tribal advisory council is established with 20 members 3/4th of who are representatives of ST members in legislative assembly. It advises on welfare and advancements on ST in scheduled areas.>
  4. Governor may direct that an act of parliament or state legislature applies to scheduled areas or applies with modifications. He can make rules for peace, progress and good government of such areas after consulting tribal advisory council. Such regulations might repeal the act of parliament too but this needs assent of president.

 

Sixth Schedule:

To promote self government for tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

Features:

  1. Governor has the power to create autonomous tribal districts for each tribe of that region. Executive authority of state is applicable here.
  2.  Each tribal autonomous district has a district council with 30 members [26-elected, 4 – nominated] elected members have 5 yr term and nominated occupy post during governors pleasure.
  3. Each autonomous region also has regional council. The district and regional council makes regulations for certain specified matters. But all such laws need governor’s assent.
  4. They can also form courts to hear disputes between tribes. Jurisdiction of HC over them is specified by governor.
  5. The district councils can collect land revenue and certain taxes. They can establish civic facilities in these districts. They can also make regulations to control trading, money lending by tribes. But such regulations need governor’s assent.
  6. Act of parliament and state legislatures don’t apply to these regions but apply with modifications or exceptions. Governor of Assam has the power on both central and state laws. Governor of Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram have with respect to state laws and president with respect to central laws.
  7. Governor can make a committee to examine administration of such regions. He can dissolve district and regional councils based on their recommendations.

Manipur Unrest


The State assembly decided to form 7 new districts in the state by bifurcating the existing 9 and now leading to a total count of 16 districts. The Chief Minister claims that the reasons for this were to fulfill long standing demands of people and also for administrative efficiency. However there have been violent protests and blockades against the decision. The Naga leaders complain that the Non Naga areas have been merged with Naga areas in order to bifurcate the Nagas. The Hill Area Committees which were constituted under Article 371 of the constitution also weren’t consulted before such a decision was taken.The Naga tribal population in the hilly areas has long believed that the State leadership is communal and anti tribal. So when unpopular bills like Protection of Manipuri people’s bills, Manipur Shop and establishment Act and Manipur Land revenue and land records bills were introduced the tribes began protesting. There was already tension in tribal areas due to demand for introduction of Inner line permit in Manipur. The bifurcation of districts in such a tense situation was seen as a Insider vs Outsider issue.


In the police firing many deaths occurred but the bodies weren’t allowed to be buried till the demand for the withdrawal of bills is withdrawn. The association of Naga militants with political parties has also led to tensions.


The government should have consulted other parties and tribal communities before such a decision was taken.


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