Article 244(A) of the Constitution

Article 244(A) of the Constitution

 Recently, there is demand for an autonomous state within Assam has been raised by some of the sections of the society in Assam under the provisions of Article 244A of the Constitution.

 Article 244(A) allows for creation of an ‘autonomous state’ within Assam in certain tribal areas.
 Inserted into the Constitution in 1969 by the then Congress government, it also has a provision for a Legislature and a Council of Ministers.
 This is different from 6th Schedule areas as the areas covered under it do not have jurisdiction of law and order.

SIXTH SCHEDULE (Reference – Indian Polity by M Laxmikant)
 The Constitution, under Sixth Schedule, contains special provisions for the administration of tribal areas in the four north-eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

 The tribal areas in the four states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have been constituted as autonomous districts. But, they do not fall outside the executive authority of the state concerned.
 The governor is empowered to organize and re-organize the autonomous districts. Thus, he can increase or decrease their areas or change their names or define their boundaries and so on.
 If there are different tribes in an autonomous district, the governor can divide the district into several autonomous regions.
 Each autonomous district has a district council consisting of 30 members, of whom four are nominated by the governor and the remaining 26 are elected on the basis of adult franchise. The elected members hold office for a term of five years (unless the council is dissolved earlier) and nominated members hold office during the pleasure of the governor. Each autonomous region also has a separate regional council.
 The district and regional councils administer the areas under their jurisdiction. They can make laws on certain specified matters like land, forests, canal water, shifting cultivation, village administration, inheritance of property, marriage and divorce, social customs and so on. But all such laws require the assent of the governor.
 The district and regional councils within their territorial jurisdictions can constitute village councils or courts for trial of suits and cases between the tribes. They hear appeals from them.
The jurisdiction of high court over these suits and cases is specified by the governor.
 The district and regional councils are empowered to assess and collect land revenue and to impose certain specified taxes
 The acts of Parliament or the state legislature do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.

 In the 1950s, a demand for a separate hill state arose around certain sections of the tribal population of undivided Assam.
 In 1960, various political parties of the hill areas merged to form the All Party Hill Leaders Conference,  demanding a separate state. After prolonged agitations, Meghalaya gained statehood in 1972.
 They stayed back as the then government promised more powers, including Article 244 (A).
 In the 1980s, this demand took the form of a movement with a number of Karbi groups resorting to violence. It soon became an armed separatist insurgency demanding full statehood.

Contact Us

    Enquire Now