NTC disagrees with CM over Article 371(A)
Dimapur, July 28
“The statement made by the Chief Minister on the floor of the house during the recently concluded Nagaland Legislative Assembly as reported by Nagaland Post on July 26, 2014 is devoid of any objective but a mere slanted statement to camouflaged the anti-people decision of the State Government that has come under severe public scrutiny”, stated a press release from the Nagaland Tribes Council.
The release issued today has expressed concern over what it termed the “arrogant statement of the Chief Minister” when the latter admitted that “there would be no forceful acquisition of land by the State Government for setting up of NSDZ” . The NTC says the statement of the leader “holds no water as the issue here is not whether or not the State Government will forcibly snatched away land from the people. The concern raised by the people is the NSDZ concept that proposed to relax the existing laws that protect the land and its resources of the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland from non-indigenous, non-Nagas and outsiders”.
The NTC also commented on the interpretation of Article 371 (A) by the leader. It said while the Chief Minister states “Article 371(A) did not say that in Nagaland land belonged to the people nor did it say that land could not be transferred to outsiders” NTC argued that Article 371(A) (a) says, no act of Parliament in respect of: (iv) ownership and transfer of land and its resources shall apply to the state of Nagaland unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution so decides. The land and its resources meaning what is on the surface and beneath the surface belongs to the indigenous Nagas of Nagaland solely on the basis of the Article 371(A). That the Nagaland land and revenue (amendment) Act, 1978 2(2). says, “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any law, usage, contract or agreement no person (other than the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland) shall acquire or posses by transfer, exchange, lease, agreement of settlement of any land. 2(3). From and after the commencement of Nagaland Land and Revenue Regulation (Amendment) Act, 1978, no document evidencing and transaction for acquisition or possession of any land by way of transfer, exchange, lease, agreement or settlement shall be registered under the Indian Registration Act, 1908 if it appears to the Registering authority that the transaction has been effected in contravention of the provisions of Sub-Section (2)”.
The NTC stated that the contents and Laws are explicitly clear that the Article 371(A) had provided the State Legislative Assembly an outright jurisdiction to protect, preserve and safeguard the traditional land holding system which was passed on to the generations from time immemorial.
On the statement of the CM that “Nagaland Land and Revenue Act. 1978 which stated that no land in the state could be transferred to a non-Nagas without the specific approval of the State Government”. The NTC observes that the Chief Minister attempted to dilute or re-write the protective law of the land. The question of “taking specific approval of the State Government” does not arise as any approval of the State Government to transfer land to any non-indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland is illegal and against the law.
NTC was supportive of the of the State Government’s move to consult civil bodies but maintained that any amount of consultation will not legitimize the present NSDZ project. The State Government cannot review the existing protective laws of Nagaland State, since; the people have never given its mandate to any Government to review the Article 371(A) of the constitution of India, Nagaland land and revenue Act, 1978 and BEFR (ILP), 1973 at any point of time, the release added.
The NTC the press release says will whole heartedly support any proposal of the State to develop any part of the State as long as it does not forfeit or compromise the hard earned status and privileges of the people of Nagaland State under Article 371(A).
The fundamental and bounden duty of any Government is to protect the above laws and not to waver under any circumstances. It is unfortunate that the present Government in the guise of attracting and wooing investors, non-Nagas and outsiders had resolved to undertake NSDZ, which is a self-defeating and complete sell-out project for temporary benefits.