MHA extends ILP to NE states including Manipur: What does this mean

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, Dec 11: In the midst of the debate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill the Ministry of Affairs has extended the Inner Line Permit to the North Eastern States including Manipur.

The CAB has a clause with regard to the Inner Line Permit Regime Areas. The Bill states that the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime areas and those regions that are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution are excluded from the purview of this Bill.

The ILP is prevalent in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. This would mean that citizens of other states visiting these states would require the ILP. This is because these areas are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

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Section 2 of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873 states that the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram fall under the purview of the ILP. The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution speaks about autonomous councils and districts were created in the tribal areas of Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya. These areas enjoy several legislative and executive powers.

While the ILP is restricted to the three states, there are 10 areas across the North East which are under the Sixth Schedule. These 10 areas include 3 each from Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and 1 from Tripura.

Before inserting this clause into the Bill, there was a wide range of discussions to widen the scope of the ILP. One of the discussions was relating to Section 3(1) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1961 under which the Centre has the power to declare any area adjoining the frontiers of India to be a notified area in the interest of the safety and security of India.

What is the Sixth Schedule:

The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram as per Article 244.

The Governor is empowered to increase or decrease the areas or change the names of the autonomous districts. While executive powers of the Union extend in Scheduled areas with respect to their administration in Vth schedule, the VIth schedule areas remain within executive authority of the state.

The acts of Parliament or the state legislature do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.

The Councils have also been endowed with wide civil and criminal judicial powers, for example establishing village courts etc. However, the jurisdiction of these councils is subject to the jurisdiction of the concerned High Court.

The Sixth schedule to the Constitution includes 10 autonomous district councils in 4 states. These are:

  • Assam: Bodoland Territorial Council, Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council and Dima Hasao Autonomous District Council.
  • Meghalaya: Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council and Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.
  • Tripura: Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council.
  • Mizoram: Chakma Autonomous District Council, Lai Autonomous District Council, Mara Autonomous District Council.

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