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Seminar on “Constitutional Rights of Tribes & indigenous people of NorthEast India”

Arunachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority (APSLSA)in collaboration with Studio Nilima: Collaborative Network for Research and Capacity Building, Guwahati, Assam organiseda one day seminar on “Constitutional Rights of Tribes and Indigenous People of NorthEast India” which was attended by nearly 320(three hundred) participantsfrom Judicial officers, Advocates, community based organisations, NGOs, Arunachal Pradesh State Women Commission, Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society, Students and faculties from Jote Law college, Arunachal Law Academy, Himalayan University and RGU etc. on 31stAugust, 2019.

The seminar was graced by Hon’ble Mr. (Retd.) Justice B. K. Sarma, Former Judge, Gauhati High Court as Chief Guest, Hon’ble Mr. (Retd.) Justice B. P. Katakey, Former Judge, Gauhati High Court as Guest of Honour, Shri A. K. Sharma, Sr. Advocates & Executive Chairman, Bar Council of India as Special Guest. The key speaker was Shri Nilay Dutta, Advocate General, Arunachal Pradesh & President, Studio Nilima.

The programme commenced with lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the Chief Guest and Dignitaries. During the programme,Shri Budi Habung, Member Secretary, APSLSA while welcomingthe participants to the programme gave a brief introduction about the seminar. Shri T. T. Tara, Advocate, Former Addl. Advocate General, Govt. of A.P. whilstspeaking onthe opening remarks ofthe Seminar, enlightened the audience onthe internal safeguards as provided for tribals under the Constitution of India. He also briefly touched upon the Assam frontier Regulation, 1945, the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873, the Chin Hills Regulation and other Regulations which provides protection and safeguards for the peaceful existence of the indigenous tribal people.

Senior Advocate A. K. Sharma spoke on Customary Rights of the people of Arunachal Pradesh and also discussed Rule of law and delivery justice system. He also assured all possible help from the Bar Council of India for the Indigenous Tribes and people of North East India. Hon’ble(Retd.) Justice B. K. Katakey highlighted that the Constitution of India provides for justice in social, economic & political context but the difficulty is the implementation of the same.He also elucidated the audience on the issue of land rights vis-a-vis customary law and the Arunachal Pradesh Land Settlement and Records Act, 2000 (and its amendment).

Hon’ble (Retd.) Justice B. K. Sarmaspoke on the definition of tribes, who constitutes as tribal society and definition of tribal areas according to the 6 (Sixth) Schedules of the Constitution.He also enlightened the audience on Art. 370 and Art. 371 H of the Constitution of India. Senior Advocate Nilay Duttabegan this talk by giving a discourse on the historical perspective of backward tracts, Art. 371 H of the Constitution of India and formation of NEFA. He informed the audience that customary law requires to be established before the court of law and all laws have the requirement to pass the test as laid out under Article 13(2) of the Constitution of India. During his lecture he also touched upon Art.372 and Art. 246 of the Constitution of India.He also spoke on Article 371 which provides for special provisions for North Eastern states etc.

A brief interaction session followed in which the issue for clarification were raised by the participants were addressed thereto.


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Arunachal Pradesh State Legal Services, Chief Minister's old Office Building, Niti Vihar, Itanagar-791111, District Papum Pare, Arunachal Pradesh