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Court revokes own direction to include Meitieis in ST category

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Court revokes own direction to include Meitieis in ST category
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After math of violence happened during ethnic clashes between two communities in Manipur.

Imphal: In the matter of granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Meitiei community in Manipur, the Manipur High Court ordered the deletion of a paragraph of its own order from March 2023. Last year's order had asked the state to consider including the Meitei in the ST category, but the court observed now that it was in conflict with the Supreme Court's constitution bench's stance, PTI reported.

The March 27, 2023 directive, believed to be a catalyst for ethnic unrest that claimed over 200 lives, was rescinded by a single-judge bench of Justice Golmei Gaiphulshillu during a review petition hearing on Wednesday.

The contentious paragraph from last year's verdict, instructing the state to expedite consideration of Meitei community inclusion, was deemed for deletion.

The paragraph of last year's verdict stated the state government "shall consider the case of the petitioners for inclusion of Meetei/Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes list, expeditiously, preferably within a period of four weeks" from the date of receipt of the order.

Justice Gaiphulshillu's ruling on February 21 emphasised the necessity of removing the directive, pointing to the Government of India's stipulated procedure for Scheduled Tribe list amendments.

Referring to the constitutional protocol detailed in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs' 2013-14 report, the court highlighted the need for alignment with the Supreme Court's constitutional interpretation.

The high court's detailed 19-page verdict underlined the legislative limitations on judicial interference concerning Scheduled Tribe classifications, as outlined by a constitution bench ruling in November 2000.

"Courts cannot and should not expand jurisdiction to deal with the question as to whether a particular caste, sub-caste; a group or part of tribe or sub-tribe is included in any one of the Entries mentioned in the Presidential Orders issued under Article 341 and 342 particularly so when in Clause (2) of the said Article, it is expressly stated that said orders cannot be amended or varied except by law made by Parliament" the verdict of Supreme Court's Constitution bench in November 2000 said.

The constitution bench had elucidated that courts should not overstep their jurisdiction in determining such categorisations.

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TAGS:Manipur High CourtIndia newsMeiteis
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