Legal views on Article 371 (A)
DIMAPUR, AUGUST 23
EXPOUNDING on the literal meaning of the word ‘notwithstanding’ as enshrined under Article 371 (A) of the Indian Constitution, Nagas have the full autonomy and independence to explore and exploit the natural resources for the development and progress of the society.The autonomy and the independence to explore and exploit natural resources for the Nagas have been supported under Article 371 (A) which empowers ownership and transfer of land resources. The Article is aptly applicable in the backdrop of controversy pertaining to exploration of petroleum and natural gas in the State of Nagaland.
The significance on Article 371 (A) was brought to light during a seminar organized by the City Law College Students’ Union in the college premises where its Principal Leonard Aier, lecturers Longshi Ezung and T Limanochet Jamir were the resource persons.
Enlightening the students, Leonardo Aier highlighted the genesis leading to the final drafting of the Article 371 (A) particularly in context with the Nagas. He particularly referred to reforms made by the Britishers namely the Government of India Act 1935 and the subsequent 9 Point Agreement of 1947 and 16 Point Agreement of 1964 which chose not to interfere in the internal affairs of the Nagas and incorporated it in the drafting of Article 371 (A).
While Article 53 of the 7th schedule under Union List empowers the Parliament to enact regulations and policies, the same cannot be applicable in the Naga context by virtue of Article 371 (A).
Leonard Aier said Article 371 (A) granted to the Nagas was a product of non-interference policy pursued by both the Britishers and Indian government.
He said Article 371 (A) was accorded based on the unique history of the Nagas basing on their traditional and customary practices.
With the given special provision for the Nagas under Article 371 (A), Leonard Aier has reminded the students to keep vigil against external forces particularly on illegal immigrants. Striking a note of caution against ill effects of illegal immigrants, Leonard Aier has urged the students to safeguard the Article 371 (A) which otherwise could proved detrimental to the Naga society.
Stating that Naga society is going through ethnocides, Leonard Aier has strongly advocated preserving and conserving the esteemed cultural and traditional values of the forefathers.
Resource person and Lecturers CLC, Longshi Ezung and T Limanochet Jamir, spoke on Motor Vehicle Act and Sports Law respectively.