Home » Vendor ladies demand resolution at Assembly Session for inclusion of Meetei/Meitei to ST list; Advocate Bhupenda validates demands

Vendor ladies demand resolution at Assembly Session for inclusion of Meetei/Meitei to ST list; Advocate Bhupenda validates demands

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Vendor ladies demand resolution at Assembly Session for inclusion of Meetei/Meitei to ST list; Advocate Bhupenda validates demands

IT News
Imphal, Feb 23:

Vendor women from Khwairamband Keithel have taken to the streets in a demonstration demanding the inclusion of the Meitei/Meetei tribe in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list. Their protest, staged at the temporary market shed, resounded with calls for decisive action from the Manipur government to ensure the rightful inclusion of the tribe, aligning with the provisions of the Constitution of India.
Thokchom Rupanjali, speaking fervently on behalf of the vendor women, emphasized the government’s obligation to advocate for the Meitei/Meitei tribe’s inclusion in the ST category, as mandated by Article 342(1) of the Constitution. She urged the state Assembly, set to convene from February 28, to pass a resolution endorsing the tribe’s inclusion during its upcoming session.
Meanwhile, Ningombam Bupenda Meitei, an Advocate at the High Court of Manipur, shed light on the legal aspects of the issue. He indicated the need for a resolution or decision by the state assembly and then to the parliament as the matter for inclusion of Meetei/ Meitei to ST list remains under the jurisdiction of Parliament only. He highlighted the court’s directive for the State Government to respond to a 2013 letter from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, regarding the Meitei ST issue.
Bupenda stressed the importance of considering two crucial judgments, Writ Petition No. 229 of 2023 and Review Petition No. 12 of 2023, together to fully grasp the context. While Review Petition No. 12 of 2023 nullified clause (iii) from Paragraph 17, Meitei noted that clauses (i), (ii), and (iv) remained intact. Particularly, he drew attention to clause (ii) of Paragraph 17 in the Writ Petition judgment, which directs the State of Manipur to provide recommendations in response to the 2013 communication from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
However, Bupenda clarified that the High Court’s directive for recommendation submission does not automatically lead to Meitei inclusion in the ST List. Such inclusion requires a constitutional amendment by Parliament. He reiterated the importance of adhering to established legal principles, highlighting the removal of Paragraph 17 (iii) by the Review Petition to uphold Parliament’s exclusive authority over ST listing.
Furthermore, Bupenda emphasized that neither the Supreme Court nor the High Court possesses the jurisdiction to include or exclude communities from the Scheduled Tribe List, as this authority solely rests with Parliament. Therefore, the role of the State Government is limited to providing recommendations in response to the Ministry’s correspondence, in accordance with the High Court’s ruling in Writ Petition No. 229 of 2023.

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