ATLAM Vs. UNION OF INDIA
LAWS(MANIP)-2019-5-20
HIGH COURT OF MANIPUR
Decided on May 22,2019

Atlam Appellant
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

KH.NOBIN SINGH,J. - (1.) The PIL is filed by the All Tribal Lawyers' Association Manipur (ATLAM) and The United Tribal Peoples' Council Manipur (UTPCM). They filed the writ petition for the following reliefs:- "(ii) issue a writ in nature of CERTIORARI AND or MANDAMUS thereby quashing the impugned Rules and Amendment Acts. i.e. the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Rules, 1972 and all other subsequent amendments to the Acts on the ground of ultra-vires, void ab-initio, illegal, arbitrary unconstitutional, bias and for want of jurisdiction; (iii) issue appropriate writ, direction or order in the nature of mandamus, declaration or any other appropriate writ, directing the Respondents to implement and enforce the scheme of Article 371C of the Constitution and the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order, 1972 and the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Act, 1971 in letter and spirit, iv) pass an order directing the respondents to pay monthly allowances or salary as per the need of this generation and in accordance with "Warrant of Precedence" vide Notification dated 27.12.2017, bearing No. 4/3/70-SA (PT.I), issued by Secretary (GAD), Government of Manipur."?
(2.) Mr. R.S. Reisang, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioners made a statement across the bar that prayer No.(ii) is not press and therefore, the same is declined. He only pleaded for a Mandamus to direct the State Government to implement and enforce the provisions of Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order, 1972 and the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Act, 1971 in letter and spirit with consequential reliefs. The learned senior counsel refers to Section 29 of the 1971, Act (Act No.76 of 1971). The Act provides for establishment of a District Councils in the hill areas and the Administrator, as defined under Section 2(a) controls all the administration of the hill areas. Presently, the Hon'ble Governor is the Administrator. In terms of Chapter II Section 3, hill areas is divided into autonomous districts. Chapter II Section 4 provides for constitution of District Councils. The other sections provide for election to the various posts of the District Councils. Chapter III, Section 29 deals with the functions of the District Councils and that powers and functions of the District Councils are assigned by the Administrator to take up the works as defined under Section 29. Section 29 of the 1971, Act reads as under: "29. Functions of District Councils-(1) Subject to such exceptions and conditions as the Administrator may make and impose, the following matters shall be under the control and administration of a District Council, namely:- (i) the maintenance and management of such property, movable and immovable, and institutions as may be transferred to that Council by the Administrator; (ii) the construction, repair and maintenance of such of the roads, bridges, channels and building as may be transferred to that Council by the Administrator ; (iii) theestablishment,maintenanceand management of primary schools and the construction and repair of all buildings connected with these institutions and institution of scholarships; (iv) the establishment, maintenance and management of dispensaries; (v) the establishment and maintenance of cattle pounds including such functions under the Cattle trespass Act, 1871 (1 of 1871) as may be transferred to that Council by the Administrator; (vi) the establishment, maintenance and management of markets and fairs and the construction, repair and maintenance of all buildings connected therewith (vii) the supply, storage and prevention from pollution of water for drinking, cooking and bathing purposes; (viii) the construction, repair and maintenance of embankments and the supply, storage and control of water for agricultural purposes; (ix) the preservation and reclamation of soil; (x) the preservation, protection and improvement of live-stock and prevention of animal diseases; (xi) public health and sanitation; (xii) the management of such ferries as may be entrusted to the charge of that Council by the Administrator; (xiii) the initiation, inspection and control of relief works; (xiv) the allotment, occupation or use, or the setting apart of land, other than land acquired for any public purpose or land which is a reserved forest, for the purpose of agriculture or grazing for residential or other non-agricultural purposes or for any other purposes likely to promote the interests of the inhabitants of any village or town situated within the autonomous district for which that council is constituted. (xv) the management of any forest not being a reserved forest; (xvi) the regulation of the practice of Jhum or other form of shifting cultivation; (xvii) any other matter which the Administrator may, in consultation with the Hill Areas Committee, entrust to the District Council in the field of agriculture, animal husbandry, community development, social and tribal welfare, village planning or any other matter referred to in section 52 of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 (20 of 1963). 2. It shall be competent for a District Council to recommend to the Government of the Union territory of Manipur legislation relating to the following matters in so far as they concern members of the Scheduled Tribes, namely:- (a) appointment or succession of Chiefs; (b) inheritance of property c) marriage and divorce; and (d) social customs."?
(3.) The Act has been amended from time to time. The last amendment to the Act was made in 27.10.2008 gazetted on 28.10.2008. By Section 8 of the Amendment Act, section 29 of the Original Act was amended to include further subjects bringing within it 26 items of development works. ;


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