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Special Provisions For Certain States In Indian Constitution

A special Category Status (SCS) is a classification given by Centre to assist in the development of those states that face geographical and socio-economic disadvantages like hilly terrains, strategic international borders, economic and infrastructural backwardness, and non-viable state finances.

State of Maharashtra and Gujarat (Article 371)

Article 371 (2) enables the President to lay special responsibility on the Governor of Maharashtra or Gujarat for the development of certain areas of that State. In the discharge of the special responsibility so conferred, the Governor has to act according to the directions which may be issued by the President from time to time.

The President may, by order, made with respect to the State of Maharashtra or Gujarat, provide for any special responsibility of the Governor for:
  1. The establishment of separate development boards for;
    (a) Vidarbha, Marathawada and the rest of Maharashtra.
    (b) Saurashtra, Kutch and the rest of Gujarat.
    The order may contain provision requiring that a report on the working of each of these boards will be placed each year before the State Legislative Assembly.
     
  2. The equitable allocation of funds for developmental expenditure over the said areas, subject to the requirements of the concerned State as a whole.
     
  3. An equitable arrangement providing adequate facilities for technical education and vocational training and adequate opportunities for employment in service under the control of the State Government, in respect of all the said areas, subject to the requirements of the State as a whole.

State of Nagaland (Article 371-A)

In July, 1960 an agreement was reached between the Government of India and the leaders of the Naga Peoples Convention for the formation of the Naga Hills-Tuensang Area (Nagaland){1} into a separate State in the Indian Union.

The State of Nagaland Act, 1962 was passed for the formation of the new State of Nagaland. To give effect to the matters covered under the agreement, the Constitution (Thirteenth Amendment) Act, 1962 was passed, which inserted a new Article 371-A for the aforesaid purpose. {2} Article 371-A provides for the following, notwithstanding anything contained in the Constitution;

(a) No Act of Parliament concerning the following matters, shall apply to the State of Nagaland unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution so decides
  1. Religious or social practices of the Nagas.
  2. Naga customary law and procedure.
  3. Administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law.
  4. Ownership and transfer of land and its resources.

(b) So long as, in his opinion, there occur internal disturbances in the State or in any part of the State, the Governor of Nagaland shall have special responsibility with respect to law and order and in discharge of his functions, he shall, after consulting the Council of Ministers, exercise his individual judgment.

If any question arises whether any matter falls within the Governor’s individual judgment or not, the Governor’s decision, in his discretion, shall be final. The validity of anything done by the Governor shall not be called in question on the ground that he ought or ought not to have acted in the exercise of his individual judgment.

However, the special responsibility of the Governor shall cease when the President makes an Order to the effect, on being satisfied, on receipt of a report from the Governor or otherwise, that, it is no longer necessary for the Governor to have special responsibility for law and order in the State.{3}

(c) The Governor shall ensure that any money provided by the Government of India for any specific service or purpose is included in the demand for a grant relating to that service or purpose and not in any other demand.

(d) A Regional Council shall be established for the Tuensang district of the State as from such date as the Governor may, by public notification specify. The Council shall consist of 35 members. The Governor shall, in his discretion, make rules providing for:
  1. The composition of the Council and the manner in which its members shall be chosen. The Deputy Commissioner of the Tuensang District shall be the ex-officio Chairman of the Council and the Vice-Chairman shall be elected by the members of the Council from amongst themselves;
  2. The qualifications for being chosen as members of the Council.
  3. The term of office, the salaries and allowances to be paid to the members.
  4. The procedure and conduct of business of the Council.
  5. The appointment of officers and staff of the Council and their conditions of service.
  6. Any other matter for the proper functioning of the Council.

(e) For a period of ten years from the date of the formation of the State Of Nagaland or for such further period, as the Governor may specify on the recommendation of the Regional Council:
  1. The administration of the Tuensang District shall be carried on by the Governor.
     
  2. The Governor shall, in his discretion, arrange for equitable distribution between Tuensang District and the rest of the State, of money provided by the Government of India, to meet the requirements of the State.
     
  3. No Act of the Legislature of Nagaland shall apply to Tuensang District unless the Governor so directs on the recommendation of the Regional Council. The Governor may on the recommendation of the Council, specify exceptions or modifications subject to which such an Act may have application in that District.
     
  4. The Governor may make regulations for the peace, progress and good government of the Tuensang District and any such regulations may repeal or amend any Act of Parliament or any other law, for the time, being in force in that District.
     
  5. There shall be a Minister for Tuensang affairs in the Council of Ministers, to be appointed by the Governor from amongst the members representing the District and on the advice of the Chief Minister, who in tendering his advice shall act on the recommendation of the majority of the members from that District; the Minister is to deal with all matters relating to the District and shall have direct access to the Governor for the purpose, but he shall keep the Chief Minister informed about the same and the final decision on all matters relating to the Tuensang District is to be made by the Governor in his discretion.
     
  6. For the purposes of Articles 54, 55 and 80 the members in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly from Tuensang District shall be elected by the Regional Council and not by direct election. While members from the Districts of Kohima and Mokokchung are elected from the territorial Constituencies.
A change is incorporated in Article 170 in respect to the State of Nagaland. According to this, the minimum strength of the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland is fixed at 46 members.

State of Assam (Article 371-B)

Article 371 -B was inserted by the Constitution (Twenty-second Amendment) Act, 1969 to facilitate the creation of an autonomous State known as Meghalaya, comprising certain areas specified in Part I of the table appended to paragraph 20 of the Sixth Schedule. Subsequently, by the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971 Meghalaya was admitted as a fully fledged State under First Schedule to the Constitution.

Article 371-B provides that the President may, by order, provide for the constitution and functions of a Committee of the members of the Assam Legislative Assembly elected from the Tribal Areas mentioned in Part I of table appended to paragraph 20 of the Sixth Schedule. The Committee is to be constituted with the object to consider Bills introduced in the Assam Assembly from the point of view of the hill people and the well-being of the people inhabiting the other parts of the State of Assam.

The State of Manipur (Article 37l-C)

Article 371-C says that the President may, by order, provide for the creation of a Committee of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Manipur, consisting of the members of that Assembly elected from the hill areas of that State.

The Governor of the State of Manipur is vested with special responsibility to secure the proper functioning of the Committee and to make an annual report to the President regarding the administration of the hill Areas in the State. The Union Government may give directions to the State as to the administration of the said Areas. Manipur became a fully fledged State under the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971.

The State of Andhra Pradesh (Articles 371D and 371-E)

Articles 371-D and 371-E were inserted by the Constitution (Thirty-second Amendment) Act, 1973. The object was to promote accelerated development of the backward areas of the State of Andhra Pradesh so as to secure the balanced development of the State as a whole and to provide equitable opportunities to different areas of the State in the matters of education, employment and career prospects in public service.{4}

To achieve the object contained in Article 371-D, the President made the Andhra Pradesh Public Employment (Organisation of Local Cadres and Regulation of Direct Recruitment) Order, 1975. By virtue of this Presidential Order, the State of Andhra Pradesh has been divided into six zones and local cadres of posts in respect of the local areas are created.

It has been held that the Presidential Order was made keeping in view the object of Article 371-D and suitable provisions are inserted.{5} The local cadre once organised under Para (3)(1) of the Presidential Order, shall be final and continue to be operative until action is taken under Proviso to sub-para (1) of para 3 of the Order, 1975.{6}

Clause (5) of Article 371 -D, which empowered the State Government to annul a decision of the Administrative Tribunal has been struck down by the Supreme Court on the ground that the constitutional amendment inserted by this Clause, violated two basic features of the Constitution, viz., rule of law and Judicial Review.{7}

It has been said that since the Administrative Tribunal exercised judicial power, as a substitute of the High Court, its decisions could not be overturned by the executive.{8} Therefore, any such order made by the State Government would be a nullity.{9}

The State Government is, however, conferred with power to organise smaller units, as cadre for the purpose of recruitment, promotion and other conditions of service in public employment, so that people from different parts can share responsibilities which, in turn, would ensure all round development of the State.{10}

Article 371 -E empowers Parliament to establish by law, a University in the State of Andhra Pradesh. It may be recalled that for quite some time the people of Telengana region in Andhra Pradesh, carried on an agitation for the creation of a separate State.

The provisions contained in Articles 371-D and 371-E have been made to meet some of the aspirations of those people so that they may give up their demand for a separate State. Relying upon the provisions of Article 371 -D the Supreme Court upheld the A. P. Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admissions) Order, 1974 where under admission to a single seat of super speciality in Medical College was reserved for local candidate{11} excluding the application of Pradeep Jain case.{12}

Article 371-D contains a special provision applicable to the State of Andhra Pradesh only, under which 54% seats are required to be filled up from open category candidates and 46% of the seats are to be filled up from the reserved category (S.C., S.T. & B.C.) candidates, in each of the three regions, for the Medical and Engineering Colleges.

Further, under the Presidential Order, 1974, only 85% of the total seats are reserved in favour of the local candidates and 15% are reserved for candidates of non-local area. The State has reserved 46% of the local seats for the reserved category candidates and directed that 15% of seats reserved for candidates of non-local area may be filled up only on merit.

Upholding the policy of the State as regards providing reservation for the reserved category candidates, the Supreme Court in N.T.R. University of Health Sciences v. G. Babu Rajendra Prasad,{13} ruled that the question of any further reservation, i.e., for the remaining 15% of the seats would not arise, as it would be violative of the principle of reservation to the extent of 50%.

The Apex Court further held that Articles 15 and 16, being enabling provisions, how and in what manner reservation was to be made, was a matter of policy, not normally open to challenge. Further, that it was not for the Court to say as to the efficacy or otherwise of the policy of the State as regards providing for reservation for the reserved category candidates. Article 371-D has no application in matters such as identification of the site for medical/dental colleges, in which case the final recommendation has to be made by the Medical Council of India.{14}

State of Sikkim (Article 371-F)

Article 371-F was inserted by the Constitution (Thirty-Sixth Amendment) Act, 1975 for admitting Sikkim into the Union of India, as a fully fledged State.{15}

Article 371 -F contains matters which require a protective cover so that such matters are not struck down as unconstitutional because they do not satisfy the constitutional requirement.{16}

The State of Sikkim shall have one seat each in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Article 371-F confers power on Parliament to provide for the number of seats in Legislative Assembly of Sikkim, which cannot be less than 30 members to be filled by candidates belonging to different sections of the people of the State.{17}

State of Mizoram (Article 371-G)

Article 371-G was inserted by the Constitution (Fifty-third Amendment) Act, 1986 to give effect to a Memorandum of Settlement on Mizoram signed by the Government of India and the Government of Mizoram with the Mizo National Front which envisaged among other things the conferment of statehood on the Union Territory of Mizoram.{18} Article 371-G (a) provides that notwithstanding anything in the Constitution, no Act of Parliament concerning any of the following matters would apply to the State of Mizoram unless the State Legislative Assembly so decides by a resolution:
  1. Religious or social practices of the Mizos.
  2. Mizo customary law and procedure.
  3. Administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Mizo customary law.
  4. Ownership and transfer of land.
However, Clause (a) of Article 371-G would have no effect on any Central Act in force in the Union Territory of Mizoram immediately before the commencement of the 53rd Amendment Act, 1986. Clause (b) of Article 371-G further provides that the Legislative Assembly of the State of Mizoram shall consist of not less than 40 members.

The State of Arunachal Pradesh (Article 371-H)
Article 371-H was added by the Constitution (Fifty-fifth Amendment) Act, 1986. It was proposed to confer statehood on the Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh.{19} Article 371-H (a) provides that notwithstanding anything in the Constitution the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh shall have special responsibility with respect to law and order in the State. In the discharge of his functions in relation to such responsibility, the Governor shall, after consulting the Council of Ministers, exercise his individual judgment as to the action to be taken.
Clause (b) of Article 371-H provides that the Legislative Assembly of the State of Arunachal Pradesh shall consist of not less than 30 members.

The State of Goa

Article 371-I inserted by the Constitution (Fifty sixth Amendment) Act, 1987 provides that the Legislative Assembly of the State of Goa shall consist of not less than 30 members.

References:
  1. Prof. Narender Kumar, Constitutional Law Of India, (Allahabad Law Agency, Haryana 8th Edn., 2011).
  2. M.P. Jain and S.N. Jain, Principles of Administrative Law: An Exhaustive Commentary on the Subject containing case-law reference (Indian & Foreign), (Wadhwa and Company Nagpur, New Delhi, 6th Edn., 2007).

End Notes:
  1. under Provisions Of Schedule VI to the Constitution Of India.
  2. The 13th Amendment Act, 1962.
  3. Second Provision to sub-clause (b) of clause (1) of the Article 371-A
  4. The Constitutional 32nd Amendment Act, 1973.
  5. S. Prakash Rao v. Commr. C.T., J T 1990 (3) SC 40.
  6. Government Of A.P v. Mohd. Ghose Mohinuddin.
  7. P. Sumbamurthy v. State of A.P, AIR 1987 SC 663.
  8. S.P Sampat Kumar v. Union Of India, AIR 1987 SC 386.
  9. N. J. Prabhakar v. State Of A.P, AIR 1988 SC 334.
  10. Presidential order, 1975 in the matter of; Govt. of A.P v. Mohd. G. Mohinuddin case.
  11. Fazal Ghaffor v. Principle, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, AIR 1988 SC 2288.
  12. Pradeep Jain v. Union Of India, AIR 1984 SC 1420.
  13. AIR 2003 SC 1947.
  14. Government Of A.P v. Medwin Educational Society, AIR 2004 SC 613.
  15. The Constitutional 35th Amendment Act, 1974.
  16. Kantilal Jain v. G.T. Bhutia, AIR 2004 Sikkim 19.
  17. Clause (a) to (f) of Article 371-F
  18. The Constitutional 53rd Amendment, Act 1986.
  19. The Constitutional 55th Amendment Act, 1986.

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