State

NVCO urges Gov to strengthen Art 371(A)

DIMAPUR, NOV 4 (NPN) | Publish Date: 11/4/2019 12:26:24 PM IST

Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation (NVCO) has urged the Governor of Nagaland, RN Ravi, who is also Government of India representative and Interlocutor for Naga Peace Talks, to strengthen the Article 371(A) of the Constitution of India and restore the July 26, 2010 Resolution of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) in respect of “ownership and transfer of land and its resources” including mineral oil.

In a representation submitted to Governor, NVCO said that Article 371(A) was a special provision with respect to the State of Nagaland. It, however, termed as “very unfortunate” that the Government of India was “unilaterally” overriding and destroying the “so called special provision ‘Article 371A’ at every turn”.
NVCO pointed out that the NLA, in accordance with Art. 371(A) of the Constitution, had passed a Resolution on July 26, 2010, which stated that in respect of “ownership and transfer of land and its resources” including mineral oil, no Act of Parliament shall apply to the State of Nagaland, which shall make appropriate Rules to apply and enforce within the State of Nagaland. 
NVCO said the Law Ministry, was also of the opinion that the term “land and its resources” in Article 371A would include mineral oil and their resources and the State of Nagaland would have the power to frame its own laws regarding ownership and transfer of such land and resources under Article 371A.
However, NVCO stated that the Home Ministry issued an Office Memorandum dated May 23, 2013 stating that “Article 371A (a) does not confer legislative power to the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland on regulation and development of mineral oil. The power to make law in respect of subject covered under List-1 of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, including entry 53 of List-1 rests with the Parliament. Therefore, the resolution passed by the Nagaland Legislative Assembly is unconstitutional and invalid”. 
According to NVCO, the 16 Point Agreement was unanimously adopted by the representatives of 16 Naga tribes at the 3rd Naga Peoples’ Convention (NPC) held at Mokokchung town from October 22-26, 1959. However, it said that the “bilateral” 16 Point Agreement and Article 371A were “slowly fading and practically eroding by arbitrary dictates of the Government of India.”
Therefore, NVCO has urged the Governor to “take this eroding of Article 371A and its related matters with the Centre on a war footing to the extent that no Act of Parliament shall apply the State of Nagaland and the term ‘land and its resources’ in Art. 371(A) would include mineral oil and their resources.” NVCO also stated that the state government should have the power to frame its own laws regarding ownership and transfer of such land and resources including mineral oil under Art. 371(A).  

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