Members Of Limboo-Tamang Tribes From Sikkim Move SC Seeking Proportional Representation In Legislative Assembly

Members Of Limboo-Tamang Tribes From Sikkim Move SC Seeking Proportional Representation In Legislative Assembly

Two members of the Limboo and Tamang Scheduled Tribes of Sikkim on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking proportional representation of the tribes in the Legislative Assembly as is guaranteed in the Constitution.

The petition has been moved by Yehang Subba and Sancha Raj Limboo

In their petition filed by Cornellia Chambers through advocate Astha Sharma, the petitioners say that despite the two tribes being recognised as Scheduled Tribes in the year 2003, they do not have any seats reserved in the Legislative Assembly which is in clear violation of Article 332 of the Constitution.

The petition challenges the September 4, 2006 notification issued by the Delimitation Commission in the Gazette of India and also the Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Order, 2008 published by the Election Commission of India, besides also challenging Section 7 of the Representation of People Act as ultra vires the Constitution.

The petition states that Sections 8, 9 and 11 of the 2006 order of the Delimitation Commission failed to reserve seats for the Limboo-Tamang Scheduled Tribes in Sikkim Assembly on the basis of the 2001 Census in line with Section 332 of the Constitution and should therefore be set aside to that extent.

The petitioners have sought direction to the Delimitation Commission and the Election Commission to rectify the 2008 and 2008 orders to reserve seats for the tribes in the Assembly.

Besides, they have also sought directions to the ECI and the Governor of Sikkim to not issue notification for General Election as far as Sikkim is concerned until the impugned orders are rectified.

The petition also prays that a Commissioner be appointed to oversee the entire exercise and ensure its time-bound and expeditious implementation.

The petition stresses on the point that the Limboo-Tamag tribes have been recognised as Scheduled Tribes in accordance with Article 342 of the Constitution. Therefore, as provided in Article 332, seats are required to be reserved for recognised tribe of a state in the Assembly keeping in mind the proportion of population of the said tribe to the population of the entire State.

In 2001, the population of Limboo and Tamang communities in Sikkim was 20.60 per cent which had increased to 33.8 per cent in the year 2011.

The tribes have contended that for almost 16 years, they have been denied proportionate representation, which is also a violation of their right to equality.