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Tags Current Affairs

Inner Line Permit

Date: 02 December 2019 Tags: Bills & Laws

Issue

In anticipation of the upcoming Citizenship Ammendment Bill, the northeastern states have raised concerns regarding the validation of Inner Line Permit.

 

Background

Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured representatives of North-eastern states that the Bill would provide protection to such regions and states where the Inner Line Permit (ILP) is applicable, and autonomous administration has been granted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

 

Details

  • Inner Line Permit is a document that allows an Indian citizen to visit or stay in a state that is protected under the ILP system. The system is in force today in three Northeastern states viz Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.

  • No Indian citizen can visit any of these states unless he or she belongs to that state, nor can he or she overstay beyond the period specified in the ILP.

History

  • The concept comes from the colonial area. Under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, the British framed regulations restricting the entry and regulating the stay of outsiders in designated areas.

  • This was to protect the Crown’s own commercial interests by preventing “British subjects” (Indians) from trading within these regions.

  • In 1950, the Indian government replaced “British subjects” with “Citizen of India”. This was to address loval concerns about protecting the interests of the indigenous people from outsiders belonging to other Indian states.

Concerns

  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill aims to make it easier for non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to obtain Indian citizenship.

  • If it is implemented with provisions for excluding from its ambit the states under the ILP regime, it means that beneficiaries under CAB will become Indian citizens but will not be able to settle in these three states.

  • The North East Students’ Organisation, an umbrella body of all powerful students’ bodies of the regions had reiterated its demand for overall implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in all NE states.

  • The three states that have seen the highest migration and likely to be affected from Citizenship Bill are Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, none of which has an ILP system.

Inner Line Permit

Date: 05 June 2020 Tags: Bills & Laws

Issue

The Supreme Court declined to stay the operation of a Presidential order which petitioners claimed deprived Assam of the powers to implement the Inner Line system in its districts and limit the applicability of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

 

Background

The policy of exclusion first came about as a response to the reckless expansion of British entrepreneurs into new lands which threatened British political relations with the hill tribes.

 

Details

  • The Inner Line separated the tribal-populated hill areas in the Northeast from the plains. To enter and stay for any period in these areas, Indian citizens from other areas need an Inner Line Permit (ILP).

  • Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram are protected by the Inner Line, and lately Manipur was added. The concept originates from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act (BEFR), 1873.

  • The BEFR prohibits an outsider’s, British subject or foreign citizen, entry beyond the Inner Line without a pass and his purchase of land there. On the other hand, the Inner Line also protects the commercial interests of the British from the tribal communities.

  • After Independence, the Indian government replaced “British subjects” with “Citizen of India”. The main aim of ILP system is to prevent settlement of other Indian nationals in the States where ILP regime is prevalent, in order to protect the indigenous/tribal population.

  • The CAA, which relaxes eligibility criteria for certain categories of migrants from three countries seeking Indian citizenship, exempts certain categories of areas, including those protected by the Inner Line system.

  • Amid protests against the Act, the Adaptation of Laws (Amendment) Order, 2019, issued by the President, amended the BEFR, 1873, extending it to Manipur and parts of Nagaland that were not earlier protected by ILP.

  • The petition had sought a stay on the Presidential order, which the Supreme Court did not grant. The court said it will have to hear what the other side (government) has to say on the matter. It will hear the matter again in two weeks.

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