Demand for Inner Line Permit unconstitutional, asserts MP

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
3 Sep 2018

The Member of Parliament, Mr Bishnu Pada Ray, on Monday, asserted that the demand for Inner Line Permit in these islands is unconstitutional. Referring to the call for the proposed Andaman bandh by the Joint Action Forum on the 6th of September, Mr Ray said that after going through the demand of JAF and its effect on the peaceful and harmonious existence of the islanders, he found the demand to be contrary to the law and in conflict with the fundamental rights enshrined in the part-III of the Constitution and also the decisions taken by the Standing Committee of Home and PAT Regulation. Speaking to scribes, the Member of Parliament asserted that the demand for ILP will strengthen the divisive forces and adversely affect the all round development of these islands. “It is against the core philosophy of the BJP “One Nation, One People”,” he said.
“After implementation of the Indian Constitution on 26th Jan., 1950, Sec. 26 of A&N Regulation 1876 (Reg. III of 1876) was repealed as it was in conflict with the Constitution of India especially Article 14, 21, 19 and all restrictions for entry were removed for the reason that the Article 19 (1) (e) permits any citizen of India to reside and settle in any part of the territory of the India and carry on any occupation, trade or business. In 2010, a Committee constituted by the Administration recommended the Ministry of Home Affairs that regulating entry to the islands is contrary to the spirit of the constitution and every Indian citizen should be allowed to settle in the islands without any restriction/regulation. The Committee also recommended strong implementation of PAT Regulation in these islands.”
“In 1979 an attempt was made in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to introduce a bill for extending this Regulation to introduce INNER LINE PERMIT but the same could not be considered by the House since the subject falls under the Union List. Another bill passed by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in 1973, the Meghalaya Residential Permit Bill was rejected by the President of India as being outside the scope of the State of Meghalaya to pass. As there is no Legislative Assembly in these islands, objective of the Dharna by Joint Action Forum would be futile as the issue of ILP falls within the jurisdiction of the Union Government since the Standing Committee on Home Affairs and being a member Mr Sitaram Yachuri, has made the recommendation to review the permit regime to increase tourism.  In view of such stand of the opposition member of CPM, one is not able to understand the reasons for which the Dharna by JAF has been planned,” said the Member of Parliament. It is clear from the said circumstances that the demand for implementation of Inner Line Permit system in these islands is nothing but an attempt to defeat the objective of the new India of 21st century and upliftment of the poor and downtrodden sections of the society. The BJP does not support the demand of Joint Action Forum in this demand. However, the party promises and assures all youth of these islands to provide job opportunities within these islands by demanding an Act mandating the requirement of domicile for employment in these islands for all Group A, B and C posts under A&N Administration, said Mr Ray urging upon people not to associate with the Forum as the demand of the forum is against development of these islands.