Why Jharkhand wants to define a ‘local’ with 1932 as the

Source: The post is based on the article “Why Jharkhand wants to define a ‘local’ with 1932 as the cut-off for domicile” published in Indian Express on 16th September 2022.

What is the News?

The Jharkhand Cabinet has approved the draft ‘Local Resident of Jharkhand Bill’.

What is the purpose of draft ‘Local Resident of Jharkhand Bill’?

As per the Bill, a local will be a person whose name or his ancestors’ name is recorded in the survey/khatiyan of 1932 or before. 

In case of persons who are landless, local persons shall be identified by the Gram Sabhas based on the culture, local customs and tradition among others.

Why 1932?

The draft Bill says that living conditions, customs, traditions, and social development of the moolwasis and people from tribal communities, have been negatively impacted due to pre and post-1932 migration of people from other states to Jharkhand (erstwhile Bihar). The definition of local persons is on the basis of this fact.

What benefits will locals get?

The locals will receive certain rights like preferential treatment 1) over their land 2) in their stake in the local development of the rivers, and lakes, 3) in local traditional and cultural and commercial enterprises 4) in their rights over agricultural indebtedness or availing agricultural loans 5) in social security and 6) in case of employment both in private and public sector; and for trade and commerce in the state.

Will this Bill pass the legal challenge?

In 2002 also, Jharkhand Government had brought a similar bill, but it was struck down by the courts.

That’s why the Jharkhand cabinet note now gives a clear indication that this Act will not come into force until it is included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution to avoid judicial scrutiny.

The Ninth Schedule of the Constitution contains a list of central and state laws which cannot be challenged in courts. However, the courts in the past have said that it can be reviewed if it violates the fundamental rights or the basic structure of the Constitution.

Hence, the state government will send the Act to the Centre and request a Constitutional amendment for the Act’s inclusion in the Ninth Schedule.