Supreme Court of India

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA of Manipur challenging the Manipur high court order in relation to Scheduled Tribe status for the Meitei community as a tribe of Manipur.

The petition filed by the chairman of the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of the Manipur legislative assembly, Dinganglung Gangmei, said that the Meitei community is not a tribe and has never been recognized as such.

The petition further stated that the order directing the state government to recommend a tribe for the Scheduled Tribes list falls solely within the jurisdiction of the state, and not the high court.

On March 27, the high court directed the state to consider the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes list.

The appeal filed against the high court order stated that the order is entirely illegal and ought to be quashed.

“The high court ought to have realised that it was a political problem in which the high court had no role to play and the political disputes had to be resolved politically. By getting into the political area and making a categorical order that the state government is directed to submit a recommendation for the inclusion of the Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribe list to the central government, the high court ambiguously and in all probability inadvertently gave rise to strong misgivings and worries and tensions among the tribals,” the appeal stated.

The appeal also sought a stay on the high court’s order.

The violence in Manipur between the Meiteis and the tribal Kuki erupted after a rally by the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) on May 3.

Violence has gripped the entire state for several days and the central government had to deploy paramilitary forces to bring the situation under control.

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