The Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, Dinganglung Gangmei, approached the Supreme Court challenging the Manipur High Court’s order for the Meitei community.
The chairman of the Hill Area Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Dinganglung Gangmei, moved the Supreme Court on Saturday, questioning the March 27 order of the Manipur High Court which had asked the Manipur state government to submit the recommendation to give Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Meetei/Meitei community.
Dinganglung Gangmei questioned the High Court’s order in relation to the Scheduled Tribe status for the Meetei/Meitei community as a tribe of Manipur. The petition filed by Gangmei, before the Supreme Court, sought a direction to the state government to recommend a tribe for the Scheduled Tribes List falls solely within the jurisdiction of the State, and not the High Court.
The petition filed by Gangmei, a BJP MLA, said that the Manipur HC order has resulted in the unrest in Manipur that has caused the death of 19 people. As per the petition – “Due to the order, tension between both the community have taken place and violent clashes have erupted across the state.
As a result of it so far 19 tribal people have been killed, various places in the states are blocked, internet is completely shutdown and more people are at the risk of losing their lives,” the petition said. There are two other petitions also filed before the Supreme Court. According to Supreme Court registry, and offficials directly connected with listing the matters, said that keeping in view the seriousness and importance of the case, the matter is likely to be listed very soon.
The plea seeking Special Leave to Appeal (SLP) claimed that there are “mistakes” in the HC order.
He pointed out the basic mistakes of the decision saying it was directing the State to make a recommendation to the Centre to include the Meetei/Meitei community as a Scheduled Tribe in the Presidential list.
The second mistake was the conclusion that the issue of inclusion of Meeteis/Meiteis was pending for nearly 10 years.
The third mistake, the petition noted, was in concluding that Meeteis/Meiteis are tribes. In his plea, Gangmei argued that the Meetei/Meitei community is not a tribe and has never been recognised as such. He said they are “advanced”, although some of them may come within the Scheduled Caste (SC) or Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.
According to the petitioner, there is no recommendation of the state government for inclusion of the community in the ST list, and there is no recommendation for such inclusion pending before the Centre either.
Gangmei said that merely because Manipur may have obtained some representation by the Meeteis/Meiteis does not oblige the State to do anything unless it is convinced that the Meeteis/Meiteis are tribes and that they deserve to be in the ST list.
“No one can force the State to send such a recommendation without the State concluding that the Meeteis/Meiteis are a tribe and they deserve to be in the Scheduled Tribes list,” the petitioner asserted.
Gangmei reasoned that the mere fact that the representation of Meeteis/Meiteis may be pending with the State is of no consequence. The State is not bound to act unless it is satisfied that people from the Meetei/Meitei community are tribes and satisfy the Constitutional requirements of being included in the ST list.