Supreme Court refuses to ex-parte stay presidential order on inner-line permit

Students unions protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act have sought the ILP system in Assam

June 04, 2020 05:48 am | Updated 05:48 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to ex-parte stay a presidential order of 2019 amending the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873, to exclude Assam from the inner-line permit (ILP) system.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde said the government should first get an opportunity to respond to the pleas challenging the presidential order of December 2019 and issued formal notice. A hearing was scheduled after two weeks.

To visit the ILP-regime States, outsiders, including people from other States, need to take permission. There is also protection for the locals with regards to land, jobs and other facilities.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for students’ unions, pressed for a stay order.

The pleas of the All Tai Ahom Students’ Union and the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad have challenged the December order as unconstitutional.

The plea of All Tai Ahom Students’ Union, filed through advocate Kaushik Choudhury, said the President passed the order for amendment under Article 372 (2) of the Constitution, although as per Article 372 (3), he had the power to do so for only three years from the date of enactment of the Constitution, that is till 1953. Students unions, protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), have sought the ILP system in Assam to protect them from the CAA.

Many students unions in the State have been protesting against the CAA and wanted implementation of the ILP in the State saying that under the BEFR, the inner line permit system was very much prevalent in some undivided districts of Assam.

The All Tai Ahom Students’ Union said the President, by exercising the power under Article 372 (2) of the Constitution, had removed Kamrup, Darrang, Nowgong, Sibsagar, Lakhimpur and Cachar, which formed the part of almost entire Assam presently, from the purview of the BEFR, exactly one day prior to giving assent to the CAA.

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