Special provisions called "Special Status"

By Shantaram Naik
15 January 2013 23:45 IST

Let me make it clear , at the outset, that there is nothing called 'special provisions' in the constitution of India. There is article 371, under which, special provisions can me made with respect to a State or States. Since every one has been referring to non existence status of special status, I had to fall in line. I have now developed a new expression, "Special provisions under article 371 of the constitution popularly called as "special status".

I have been  demanding  special provisions for Goa for the last three years. I submitted my Memorandum to PM in 2010 but a case has to be built up by State Government.

Land is becoming a scarce commodity more particularly in smaller States. Land mafia from foreign countries are landing in States like Goa with tons of money buying huge areas creating social and economic chaos. Some of the parties are potential enough to buy a whole village in a smaller State like Goa.

Persons in real estate in the country too, are resorting to similar purchases disturbing the social fabric in the State.

States have to be empowered to enact appropriate legislations to bring in restrictions on transfer of land and other immoveable properties  on grounds of duration of  residential requirement in the State, social  and economic needs of the State, environment and public interest, as may be specified by the  law.

Similarly,  the State of Goa consist of hardly 3,702 sq meters of land with a population of roughly 14 lakhs, increasing number of migrant population has reached to an unmanageable proportions. While it is  the fundamental right of every citizen under Article 19 of the Constitution to move freely throughout the territory of India , it is also the fundamental right of others to live a decent life with basic amenities provided by the State.  In order to safeguard the basic rights of those Goans as also non-Goans who are settled in Goa for a number of years, further inflow has to be regulated to avoid a virtual stampede in near future.

Article 371 of the constitution ,therefore, needs to be amended by  adding article 371-I as follows:-

In the Aricle 371-I after the words, “not less than thirty members” insert following words-

Provided further that notwithstanding anything contained in any other part of this constitution or in any law time being in force or in any judgement or order, the Legislative Assembly of Goa shall be competent to enact any legislation –

(i) to regulate the ownership and transfer of land in public interest and in the interest and on grounds of duration of  residential requirement in the State, social  and economic needs of the State, environment and public interest , as may be specified by the State by law.”

(ii) to regulate influx of migrants considering available resources specially, land, water, power etc and considering the sanitation and environmental aspects;

May  I  may mention herewith  that-

(i) Article 371 provides for special provisions for the State of Maharashtra and Gujrat to provide separate development boards;

(ii) 371A provides for special provisions for Nagaland in respect to ownership of transfer of land and its resources, religious or social practices;

(iii) 371B provides special provisions for Assam for providing special committees of members of Legislative Assembly of Assam elected from tribal areas etc.,

(iv) Article 371 G provides that unless Mizoram Assembly so decides Act of Parliament regarding ownership and transfer of land,Mizo customary law and procedure etc. will not be applicable in the State.

Similarly there are special  provisions made with respect to other States in Articles 371-C to 371-I on different aspect.

Article 371-I has made special provisions for Goa to provide  for an assembly of 40 , since under Article 170(1), strength of a Legislative  Assembly had to be 60.

Special provisions have also been granted to the State of Karnataka with respect to their Hyderabad - Karnataka areas , by a constitutional amendment passed in Parliament in the recently held winter session.

We propose to suggest an  amendment to  the very same  article 371-I to add additional provisions on the lines suggested above, for empowering Goa State Assembly to enact a legislation to regulate transfer of land in the State.

The reason as to why we are insisting on a constitutional backing is that the State Assembly,  had, in the year 2008,  enacted a legislation to amend to Registration Act to authorize State Government to frame  Rules, providing for issuing direction  to the  sub-registrars,  to refuse registration  of certain documents,  declared by the government as being opposed to  'public policy.'

President of India has refused to give assent to the bill of the Goa government which the Governor of Goa had reserved for the consideration of the President. A similar bill passed by the Assembly of another State ,it is learnt, was struck down by the Supreme Court.

Since , it is the State who has to make demand, Goa government can move a  resolution in the forthcoming January Session of the Assembly , mentioning therein, the exact nature of special provisions that the State seeks to make for Goa. My bill can serve as a guideline to the State Government.

As I have made clear above , special provisions have to be to made in article 371, to  authorise Goa Legislative Assembly, to make provisions as regards land transactions and solve problems related to migrants.

Incidentally, I may herewith also mention, that Goa  should not lag behind in  getting their demands ,which form essential features of State , fulfilled. If Goa is considered a computer , let us also get software of Special Cadre and Separate High Court, loaded into it.

 

 

 

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Shantaram Naik

Shantaram Naik is a Rajya Sabha MP, representing the Congress for the second consecutive term. A staunch Congressman, he is known for his studious approach before taking any stand on any issue. He has also been a columnist before joining active politics.

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Shantaram,

Khay re tu patrao, election yeyle mare, aata tari zago zaa!

- Kantaram, Goa | 04 th December 2016 04:40

 

Dear Sir,

I would like to know few things from you :

1. How do you justify the amendments you propose to Article 371 I vis a vis Article 1(i) "India that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States". Mind you, UNION, not a confederation where each State is dependent on the Center only for currency, defense and foreign policy. Article19(1)(e) "All citizens shall have the right to reside and settle in any part of India"

2. How do you define a "migrant" ?

3. The relevant articles for Mizoram and Nagaland do not bring forth the concept of "migrants". They only attempt to preserve the unique identities of these cultures as I see it.

So why are you introducing this concept here ?

Thank you.

- Mukul, Margao | 16 th January 2013 18:35