Article 371F

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    Recently, an SDF supremo claimed that the Sikkimese people feel betrayed as Article 371F was “violated”.

    Latest Issues 

    • the Financial Bill, 2023 redefines Sikkimese as any Indian citizen domiciled in Sikkim, extending to them the same benefits as that of the original inhabitants whose forefathers’ names were in the 1961 register
    • This violates Article 371F, which was the basis for the merger of Sikkim with India in 1975. 

    Do you Know?

    • Sikkim is situated in the North East of the union.
    • It was a tiny Himalayan kingdom once ruled by the hereditary monarchy for about 3 centuries from 17 century A.D. 
    • In 1950 the kingdom became a protectorate of the Government of India vested with autonomy in its internal affairs while its defence, communications, and external relation were under the responsibility of the protector.

    About Article 371F

    • Sikkim finally opted to become a full-fledged  22nd State of the Indian Union with effect from 26 April 1975 vide the Constitution 36th Amendment Act 1975 with special provision laid for the State under article 371(F) of the Constitution of India.
    • According to Article 371F, The members of the Legislative Assembly of Sikkim shall elect the representative of Sikkim in the House of the People.
    • To protect the rights and interests of various sections of the population of Sikkim, Parliament may provide for the number of seats in the Assembly, which may be filled only by candidates from those sections.

     

    • Only the descendants of Sikkim subjects (those who lived in the state before its merger with India) whose names were mentioned in the 1961 register are Sikkimese with rights to own land and get State government jobs. 
    • They were also exempted from paying income tax.

    Additional Information

    • Article 371, Maharashtra and Gujarat: Governor has a “special responsibility” to establish “separate development boards” for “Vidarbha, Marathwada, and the rest of Maharashtra”, and Saurashtra and Kutch in Gujarat; ensure “equitable allocation of funds for developmental expenditure over the said areas”, and “equitable arrangement providing adequate facilities for technical education and vocational training, and adequate opportunities for employment” under the state government.
    • Article 371A (13th Amendment Act, 1962), Nagaland: This provision was inserted after a 16-point agreement between the Centre and the Naga People’s Convention in 1960, which led to the creation of Nagaland in 1963.
      •  Parliament cannot legislate in matters of Naga religion or social practices, Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law, and ownership and transfer of land without the concurrence of the state Assembly.
    • Article 371B (22nd Amendment Act, 1969), Assam: The President may provide for the constitution and functions of a committee of the Assembly consisting of members elected from the state’s tribal areas.
    • Article 371C (27th Amendment Act, 1971), Manipur: The President may provide for the constitution of a committee of elected members from the Hill areas in the Assembly, and entrust “special responsibility” to the Governor to ensure its proper functioning.
    • Article 371D (32nd Amendment Act, 1973; substituted by The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014), Andhra Pradesh and Telangana: President must ensure “equitable opportunities and facilities” in “public employment and education to people from different parts of the state”. 
      • He may require the state government to organise “any class or classes of posts in the civil service of, or any class or classes of civil posts under, the State into different local cadres for different parts of the State”. 
      • He has similar powers vis-à-vis admissions in educational institutions.
    • Article 371E: Allows for the establishment of a university in Andhra Pradesh by a law of Parliament. But this is not a “special provision” in the sense of the others in this part.
    • Article 371F (36th Amendment Act, 1975), Sikkim: The members of the Legislative Assembly of Sikkim shall elect the representative of Sikkim in the House of the People. To protect the rights and interests of various sections of the population of Sikkim, Parliament may provide for the number of seats in the Assembly, which may be filled only by candidates from those sections.
    • Article 371G (53rd Amendment Act, 1986), Mizoram: Parliament cannot make laws on “religious or social practices of the Mizos, Mizo customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Mizo customary law, ownership and transfer of land… unless the Assembly… so decides”.
    • Article 371H (55th Amendment Act, 1986), Arunachal Pradesh: The Governor has a special responsibility with regard to law and order, and “he shall, after consulting the Council of Ministers, exercise his individual judgment as to the action to be taken”.
    • Article 371J (98th Amendment Act, 2012), Karnataka: There is a provision for a separate development board for the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. There shall be an “equitable allocation of funds for developmental expenditure over the said region”, and “equitable opportunities and facilities” for people of this region in government jobs and education. A proportion of seats in educational institutions and state government jobs in Hyderabad-Karnataka can be reserved for individuals from that region.