Arunachal Pradesh Vs. Khudiram Chakma  INSC 236
(27 April 1993)
S. (J) Mohan, S. (J) Venkatachalliah, M.N.(Cj)
1994 AIR 1461 1993 SCR (3) 401 1994 SCC Supl. (1) 615 JT 1993 (3) 546 1993
citizenship Act, 1955:
6A-Citizenship of persons covered by Assam Accord- Persons of Indian origin
known as Chakmas-Migrated to State of Assam from specified territory before
1.1.1966-Shifted to Arunachal Pradesh in 1966 and residing there since then-
Held, cannot be regarded as citizens of India.
Act, 1946, Section 3;
Order, 1948, Clause 9 (2);
Protection Order, 1958;
The Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873,
power to declare any region as protected area- Prohibition on acquisition of
land or any interest thereon by foreigners within protected area-Chakma
refugees-Donation of land by local Raja within inner line in State of Arunachal Pradesh-Held, the donation deed was illegal.
of India, 1950:
14, 19(1)-(d), (e)-Rights to move freely throughout the territory of India and
to reside and settle any part therein-Held, rights not avaliable to
foreigners-Settling Chakmas in a particular place is a matter of policy-Court
cannot enter into wisdom of such policy.
appellant in Civil Appeal No.481 of 1983, and thousands of other families,
known as Chakmas, migrated from the erstwhile East Pakistan to Assam where they were given shelter as
refugees in 1964. In the year 1966 the Government drew up the Chakma
resettlement Schemes whereunder they were allotted lands within the-North East
Frontier Agency, which later became State of Arunachal Pradesh. The appellant and 56 other Chakma families strayed
away from the original settlement area and negotiated with the local Raja who
through an unregistered deed donated land to them inside the inner line which
was a protected area under the Foreigners' Protection Area Order 1958. Later,
the State Govenment received complaints that the 402 Chakmas were making
encroachment on lands of local people, indulging in illegal collection of arms
and ammunition and establishing contacts with the extremist groups. An inquiry
into the matter was directed. The Government found it necessary to shift them,
and by order dated 15.2.1984 directed the appellant and the other Chakma
families to vacate the land and to shift to the original settlementarea where
other Chakma families were already` residing. The appellant challenged the
order before the High Court by filing a writ petition which was dismissed.
However, the High Court, on humanitarian grounds, directed the State Government
to give adequate compensation to the Chakmas.
the appellant and the State Government filed the appeals by special leave.
contended on behalf of the appellant that the appellant and the other Chakmas
being of Indian origin and having returned to Assam State in 1964, would be
entitled to citizenship under Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955, and by
mere accident of their going to Arunachal Pradesh they cannot lose their
citizenship; and that the order dated 15.2.1984, besides being against the
principles of natunal justice, was violative of Article 14 of the Constitution
as it infringed the rights of the appellant and other Chakmas under Articles
19(1) (d) and (e) of the Constitution.
the appeal on behalf of the Chakmas and allowing that of the State, this Court,
The appellant and other Chakmas residing in Arunachal Pradesh long before 1985
cannot be regarded as citizens of India. [420- H]
Under Section 6-A of the Citizenship Act, 1955, which was incorporated by the
Amending Act, 1985 as a result of Assam Accord, two conditions are required to
Persons of Indian origin (undivided India) who came before 1.1.1966 to Assam from the specified territory; and (2) they have been "ordinarily
resident" in Assam as it existed in 1985 since their
date of entry in Assam. [411 G- H; 412 A]
Though the appellant and other Chakmas were of Indian origin and came to Assam
prior to 1.1.1966 from the then East Pakistan, one of the specified territories
but, in 1966 they shifted to the area within North East Frontier Agency which
later became State of Arunachal Pradesh, and at no time was part of the
Territory of the State of Assam though was being administered by the Governors
of Assam or the President of India, as the case 403 may be. Besides, bt the
North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971, the territories of Arunachal Pradesh
were excluded from the purview of the Immigrants (Explusion from Assam) Act, 1950. The appellant and the
other Chakmas were residing in Arunachal Pradesh long before 1985, and as such
cannot be said to be "ordinarly resident" in Assam as it existed in 1985 since their
date of en try in Assam. (420 A-F) Smt. Shanno Devi v. Mangal
Saini  1 SCR 576, relied on.
the law lays down certain conditions for acquiring citizenship, the same cannot
be disregarded. (421-A) Kennedy v. Mendoza- Martinez 372 US. 144,159 , referred to.
Politics, III, 5, referred to.
place where the Chakma families are residing is within the inner line notified
by the State Government. The place is the protected one under the Foreigners'Protection
Area Order, 1958, wherein acquisition of any land or any interest thereon by
any foreigner is prohibited as envisaged by clause section 7 of the Bengal
Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 and Clause 9(2) of the Foreigners' Order 1948
issued under Section 3 of the Foreigners Act, 1946. (410 DE) 2.2Accordingly,
the donation deed through which the Raja gave land to the appellant and the
other Chakmas is illegal.(421 D) 2.3Unlike article 21, rights under Articles
19(1) (d) and (e) of the Constitution are unavailable to foreigners because
these rights are conferred only on the citizens and are expressly withheld to
foreigners. The machinery of Article 14 cannot be invoked to obtain that
fundamental right.(424 E) Indo-China Steam Navigation Co. v. Jasjit Singh,
6 SCR 594 at 621 to 622, followed.
De Raedt v. Union of Indian  3 SCC 554, referredto.(412 CD) 404
Settling the Chakmas in a particular place is a matter of policy. This Court
cannot enter into the wisdom of such a policy. Besides, the reasons for
shifting the Chakma families are : they are in illegal occupation of the
protected are, they are indulging in procurement of arms and anununitions and
other criminal activities; they are associating with anti-social elements, and
have been source of constant trouble to the local tribals. Arunachal Pradesh
being a Border State is stategically important (424B, 423EFG)
the instant case, the principles of natural justice were fully complied with.
It cannot he said that the order dated 15.2.1984 for shifting the Chakmas came
to be issued like 'a bolt from the blue'. The record mentions that before
passing of the shifting order, notice after notice were issued to chakma
families to return to their original place of settlement. Survey Reports for their
settlement were submitted and representation were made to the authorities
concerned who gave oral hearing to the representatives of Chakmas. (412 GH) Scheduled
Caste and Weaker Section Welfare Association v. State of Karnataka, 2 SCC 604, inapplicable. R.
v. Secretary of Stale for the Home Department,  2 All ER 319 (CA); Brind
v. Secretary of State  1 All ER 720 (HL); Council of Civil Service Unions
v. Minister for the Civil Service; (1984) 3 All ER 935 (HL); McInnes v. onslow Farme
& Anr.,  3 All ER 211 (Ch. D) p. 219; JR Vohra v. India Export House pvt.
Ltd.,  1 SCC 712; Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher
Education v. K.S. Gandhi,  2 SCC 716 and Satya Vir Singh v. Union of
India,  4 SCC 252, referred to.
view of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 and Clause 9(2) of the Foreigners'Order
1948 the acquisition of the land being illegal, the instant one is not a case
for award of compensation. (426-C)
However, having regard to the statement made on bahalf of the State that the
Chief Minister is ready to hear the Chakmas, an opportunity be afforded to them
by the Chief Minister who may grant such relief as may be deemed fit. It is
made clear that it will be a post decisional hearing.
D) 405 Blackburn and Taylor on the right to enjoy asyum
in Hussan Rightsior the 1990s, 'Equality and Discrimination under International
Law' by Warwick Mckean, referred to.
APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal Nos. 2182/93 with 2181/93.
Judgment and Order dated 30.4.1992 of the Gauhati High Court in Civil Rule No.
166 of 1984.
Attorney General, Arunachal, K.K. Venugopal, Shahid Rizvi and Ms. Manjula
Gupta, Appellant in C.A. No. 2182 of 93 and for the
Respondent in C.A. No. 2181/93. Govind Mukhoty and
S.K. Bhattacharya for the respondent in C.A. No. 2182/93 and for the Appellant
in C.A. No. 2181/93.
Judgment of the Court was delivered by MOHAN.J. Leave granted.
these civil appeals arise out of the judgment of the Gauhati High Court dated 30th April, 1992 rendered in CR. No. 166 of 1984.
The short facts are as under:
parties will be referred to as the appellant and the State of Arunachal Pradesh.
appellant alongwith his family members and other 56 families migrated to India
on 30th March, 1964 from erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, due to
disturbances prevailing at that time. They took shelter in a government camp at
Abhayapur Block in Tirap District.
appellant and other 56 families are known as Chakmas of the erstwhile East Pakistan. They being the refugees were given
shelter in government camp at Ledo in the District of Dibrugarh, Assam. Later on, in 1966, they were
shifted to the Camp at Miao within the State of Arunachal Pradesh.
Pradesh was called NEFA (North East Frontier Agency) prior to 1972. On 21st January, 1972 it was given the status of Union Territory of 406 Arunachal Pradesh. It became a full fledged State on
20th February, 1987, Geooraphically, it is situated on
the north- east of India and has a long international border
with Bhutan, China and Burma (Burma presently called Myanmar).
the largest State areawise in the north-east region, even larger than Assam which is the most populous State.
population of Arunachal Pradesh, according to the 1981 census is 6.32 lakhs. It
is scattered over 12 towns and 3,257 villages. There are 26 Major tribes.
Broadly speaking, the people in the State can be divided into three cultural
groups, on the basis of their socio-regional affirmities.
monpas and Sherdukpens of Tawang and West Kemeng District;
and Singhphos inhabiting the entire easternpart of the State-, and
Neotes and Wanchos adjoining, Negal and in the Tirup District;
year 1966, the State Government drew the Scheme known as Chakma Resettlement
Scheme for these refugees. Areas were earmarked for their settlement at
different parts of the State and accordingly they were asked to move to the
areas earmaked for them, In all, 5 Schemes were sanctioned for their settlement
(comprising of about 3100 families of refugees) at the cost of more than Rs. 2 crores.
appellants along with 56 families were allotted lands in the villages of Gautampur
and Maitripur. There were already a good number of Chakma refugee families who
were allotted lands and were living there peacefully. The appellants instead of
residing in the said allotted areas under the Resettlement Scheme drawn by the
Government, strayed away from it and negotiated with the Local Raja namely Nigrumong
Singpho of Damba for an area of one sq. mile of his private land and got the
same from the said Singpho through an unregistered deed dated 20th November, 1972.
State would contend that the said transfer is illegal because as per section 7
of the BEFR, 1873 (Regulation 5 of 1873) no person, who is not a native of the
District, would acquire any interest in the land or the produce of the land
beyond the inner line without the sanction of the State Government or such
officer as the State Government may appoint in this behalf. On the contrary,
the stand of the appellant is that since the date of donation they have been
residing and cultivating 407 the said land and they have developed the area for
further alleged on behalf of the appellant that in 1975, a village panchayat of
Joypur village was formed after election of the members. The appellant was
appointed as the Gaon Bura of the village. This was with the approval of the
Government, in token of which a sanad dated 20.11.75 was issued in his name.
The Deputt Commissioner at kenosa approved the transfer and the Extra Assistant
Commissioner, Miao by his memorandum No. MR S (A) n5/8648-51 dated 26.4.70
issued instructions against any attempt to allot the land to other and
generally against any eviction of the appellants from the said land.
families who were allotted lands in the adjacant area of Joypur village
attempted to encroach upon the lands of the appellant and on a complaint
lodged, the authorities concerned i.e. Executive Magistrate at Miao by his
letter dated 30.5.77 issued instructions to Ningronong Singpho Rajkumar to turn
out the extra families from the appellant 's village with a direction to the
Circle Officer, Diyun to report compliance. It was after such intervention that
such outsiders in due course were expelled.
obtaining the donation from the Raja by dint of hard labour they developed the
jungle area which was a hillly uneven tract of land. In view of the tremendous
agricultural success the Tirup District authorities granted two Rice Hullar
Units in the name of the appellant. The Chakmas transformed the land into a
truly self-sufficient village.
view of prosperity and growth of land the nearby villagers sought to dislodge
the appellant and families by raising various disputes, one of which was that
the place cannot be utilised as refuge settlement and that they should be
shifted to another place. Circle Officer, Diyun issued an order dated 15.2.84
directing the appellant to shift to the vacant land at Gautampur and Maitripur
villages latest by 24th of February, 1984. The representation requesting the
Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh to interfere was of no avail.
appellant after settling in this unauthorised land started committing criminal
and illegal activities. There were several complaints to the effect that the
appellant is encroaching upon the private lands illegally in connivance with
the local people, particularly, Singphos.
order to investigate the matter fully, the Government, vide its letter dated
4.4.1979, directed an enquiry into the whole matter through a Committee compris-
408 ing of 9 persons with the Deputy Commissioner of the area as the Chairman.
said committee after the investigation submitted its report on 11.6.79, stating
therein that about 788 families of Refugees (Chakmas, Deori, and Bhufia) have
illegally encroached upon about 872 Hectares in Miao Sub Division alone.
said Committee observed that:-
The fear of the local people regarding heavy growth of population among the Chaknias
has already been stated above and it is also well known to the Government. But
such fear maybe true in the case of Deoris and Ahoms too because it has been
seen that in their case too the irpopulation is increasing by leaps and bounds,
for instance it is learnt that when they were inducted there were only 6 Ahom
families and 32 Deoria, where as this has now increased to 23 and 106
respectively, We should, therefore, watch by one method or the other that flow
of Chakmas, Deoris and Ahoms does not at all take place. For this purpose
formal allotment of land to each family is very necessary and further in order
to guard against new entrents, the DCs office is said to be taking up the issue
of identity cards."
Land is still available in Innano, Dumba and Modoi, especially after the
eviction of four Chakma villages during March last. Singphos have been known to
induct outsiders not only without Govt.'s approval but also by various
undesirable mathods, this has to be properly watched and if found necessary we
may have to give exemplary punishment to those who indulge in such practice.
Already there is some sign of dissension among the local people due to the
activities of one Nirunong of Kumchai village who was mainly responsible for
inducting Chaknias in Jaipur village, 10 Deori families and some other from
outside. It has also been seen that in Innano village there are six tea garden tribals
who have been living and working since the last 10 years with Inner Line passes
renewed from time to time but obviously with the understanding that the local
people would subseqently give them land for permanent resettlement." The
State received complaints that Chakma people were indulging in illegal
activities such as commission of offences under various lands, collection of
arms and anununitions, establishing conteracts with the Extremist groups,
encroachment of adjoining areas. The State, therefore, found it necessary to
shift them to 409 a site where other Chakma families were already residing.
in these circumstances, by order dated 15.2.84, the State directed the
appellant and the other Chakmas to shift.
said order is to the following effect:
connection to this office memoranodum No. LS-4/83/84/ 2478-79 dated 6.2.84, the
Chakma of Joypur village are hereby directed to shift to the vacant land
allotted at Gautampur and Maitripur village latest by 25.2.1984.
may be treated as final notice, failing whichlegal action will be taken against
the defaulters." Questioning the correctness of the order CR No. 166 of
1984 was filed before the High Court of Gauhati:
The petitioners are citizens of India.
Their fundamental rights have been infringed.
The impugned notice dated 15th of February, 1984 is illegal, arbitrary and had
been issued in violation of the principles of natural justice.
High Court of Gauhati formulated three questions for determination:
Whether the writ petitioner and the 56 chakma familes now settled in Joypur
village, Miao subdivision, Arunachal Pradesh are citizens of India or
they are not citizens of India, whether the authorities concerned have right to
give direction to these Chakma people to move to another place.
the impugned order dated 15.2.1984 is arbitrary, devoid of reason and violative
of the provisions of the Constitution.
urging the first question it was contended that the petitioner and the other Chakma
families came to Assam in 1964 and stayed there for some time. They were
shifted to Miao Sub Division in Arunachal Pradesh. In 1964, the territory of Arunachal
Pradesh was included in Assam. Since they stayed in Assam 410 they must be deemed to be
citizens of India within the meaning of Section 6-A
of the Citizenship Act, 1955 as amended in 1985. They also contended that
proviso to Section 2 of Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, 1950 would also
High Court, on an elaborate consideration of the provisions of Citizenship Act,
came to the conclusion that language of Section 6-A of the Citizenship Act is
very clear. It states that person who have come into Assam before January 1966
from the specified territory and who have been ordinarily resident in Assam
since the date of their entry shall be deemed to be citizens. Admittedly, the
petitioners therein would not fell under this category as they stayed in Assam
for a short while in 1964.
they will not be citizens of India.
second question, the High Court referred to Section 7 of the Bengal Eastern
Frontier Regulation, 1873. That section specifically prohibits the acquisition
of interest in land by other than the natives of the district without the
sanction of the State Government. Admittedly, there was no sanction of the
State Government in favour of the petitioners under the said Regulation which
is applicable to Arunachal Pradesh. Besides, clause 9 (2) (a) of the Foreigners
Order 1948 prohibits acquisition of land or any interest thoreon or within the
prohibited area by any foreigner. Clause 9 (2) (b) states that the local
authority may impose conditions regarding acquisition of land or any interest
thereof or any other matter deemed necessary in the interest of public safety.
There was no controversy that the place where chakmas were staying is within
the inner line which is protected area notified by the State Government.
view of the facts, the High Court came to the conclusion that the petitioners
had no right to seek a permanent place of abode in that area. The authority had
every right requiring them to shift.
third question. after going through the various files produced by the State
Government, in the court, the High Court found various complaints against these
chakmas. They were indulging in procuring arms and ammunation and were
actively, associating with anti-social elements Accordingly, it was concluded
that the impugned order is not devoid of any reason.
the High Court, on humanitarian grounds, directed the State Government to give
adequate compensation in the event of these chakmas being evicted from the
place. The State of Arunachal
Pradesh has preferred
S.L.P. (C) No. 12429 of 1992 while Khudiram Chakma has filed S.L.P. (C) No.
13767 of 1992.
Mr. Govind Mukhoty, learned counsel for the appellant urges that in 1947 the
appellants were Indian citizens. Because of the partition of the country they
went over to the then East
Pakistan, presently Bangladesh. But when they returned in 1964 to
the erstwhile Assam State they stayed there for some time and shifted to Arunachal
Pradesh. To deprive them of the citizenship would be violative of Article 14 of
the Constitution of India. By mere accident of their going over to Arunachal
Pradesh, they cannot lose their citizenship.
learned counsel referred us to the various provisions of the Citizenship Act,
1955. He urges that there is evidence, in this case, of donation of lands in favour
of these appellants by Raja Nirunong Singpho of Dumba. That was approved by the
Deputy Commissioner as seen from memorandum dated 26th of April, 1976. The
appellant was appointed Gaon-Bura of Joypur village. In proof of that Sanad was
issued by the Deputy Commissioner. Again, the Executive Magistrate had directed
the Raja to turn out the extra families occupying lands at Joypur in the area
allotted to the appellants and other Chakmas. There is also evidence on record
to show that chakmas have been paying taxes including house tax. When that be
the position, there is no justification at all calling upon the appellants and
the other 56 families to shift.
was no notice before calling upon the appellants to shift. This Court in
Scheduled Caste and Weaker Section Walfare Association v.State of Karnataka
 2 SCC 604, a case arising under karnataka Slum Areas (Improvement and
Clearance) Act, 1973, held that before eviction a slum dweller does have a
right to say. Therefore, it is submitted that the principle of natural justice
applies to noncitizens also.
Louis De Raedt v. Union of India  3 SCC 554 this Court took the view that
the fundamental rights are available to foreigners as well, including Article
21 of the Constitution.
K.K. Venugopal, learned senior counsel, appearing for the State of Assam
contends in opposition:
appellants cannot claim to be citizens of India by invoking Section 6-A of the Citizenship Act as amended and
incorporated on 7.12.85 in pursuance of the Assam Accord.
order to get the benefit of Section 6-A two conditions mentioned in sub-section
(2) of the said Section must be satisifed simultaneously:
The persons who are of Indian origin (viz. undivided India) came before 1.1.66 to Assam from the specified territory', and
have been "ordinarily resident' in Assam (as it existed in 1985) since the
date of their entry into Assam.
far as the appellants were residing in Miao sub- division of Tirup District, Arunachal
Pradesh since 1968 they did not satisfy these conditions. As to what exactly is
the meaning of "ordinarily resident" could be seen from Shanno Devi
v. Mangal Saini  1 SCR 576 at 590.
true that this Court in Louis De Raedt (supra) took the view that even
foreigner has a fundamental right, but that fundemental right is confined only
to Article 21 and does not include the right to move freely throughout and to
reside and stay in any part of the territory of India, as conferred under
Article 19(1) (d) and (e). Such a right is available only to the citizens. The
appellants being foreigners, cannot invoke Article 14 of the Constitution to
get the same right denied to them under Article 19 since Article 14 cannot
operate in regard to a right specifically withheld from non-citizens. In
support of this submission, reliance is placed on Indo-China Steam Navigation
Co v. Jasjit Singh  6 SCR 5 94 at 621 to 622 and Louis De Readt (supra).
land donated in favour of the appellants by Raja Nirunong Singpho of Dumba by
donation deed dated 20.11.72 is illegal. Section 7 of the Bengal Eastern
Frontier Regulation 1873 and clause 9 of the Foreigners under 1948, which are
applicable to Arunachal Pradesh, specifically prohibit such transfer without
prior permission of State Government. No such permission, in this case, was
of North-eastern States are historically protected races. Part x of the
Constitution of India contains provisions and laws goveming them. The decision
re-arding settlement of foreigners is a matter of policy.
well-settled in law that the Court does not interfere in a matter of
governmental policy since it is for the Government to decide.
quesion of natural justice before passing the impugned order dated 15.2.84 the
learned counsel., producing the relevant material from the file, would urge
that it is not correct to state that the order came to be issued all of a
sudden. There is abundant material to show that the question of eviction was an
ongoing process. right from 1978. Many notices were issued over a period of
years to shift to villages Maitripur and Gautampur. There were protests from chakmas.
From the file it is seen that the appellant was aware of the shift order dated
26.9.83. There was also an oral hearing of the same. It was because of the
complaints filed by the residents of the locality against the appellant and in
view of the report that they were induling in procuring arms and ammunition and
were in close contact with anti-social elements. Taking an overall view of the
matter, the impugned order 413 came to be passed. On ground realities, natural
justice is fully satisfied.
support of the above submissions, the learned counsel relied on the following
2 All ER 319 (CA) p. 331 A to 332 H, 334 A to J: R.v. Secretary of State for
the Home Department ex party Cheblak.  1 All ER 720 (HL), Lord Bridge of
Harwich, p. 723 F to 724G Lord Templeman, p. 725-J, 726-A to C. Lord Ackner. p.
73 1-H 732G-H 735 F-J Lord Lowry, p. 737 D- J. Brind v. Secretary of State
 3 All ER 935 (HL) Council of Civil Service Unions v. Minister for the
Civil Service  3 All ER 211 (Ch. D) p. 219, 223 A-J, 229 McInnes v. onslow
Farne & Anr.  1 SCC 712 at p. 722-723 para 12, 13 JR Vohra v. India
Export House Pvt. Ltd.  2 SCC 716 at p. 738 para 20-22 Maharashtra State
Board of Secondary & Higher Education. v. KS. Gandhi  4 SCC 252 at p.
263 Satya Vir Singh v. Union of India However, the learned counsel fairly
conceded that the Chief Minister was willing to hear the appellants or any
representative of their group, additionally, as a post- decisional hearing,
even though they had full opportunities over a period of four years. It is his
submission that it must be a post decisional hearing as otherwise, if the
decisions were against the appellants a further round of litigation would be
will proceed to consider the correctness of the above submissions 414 providing
the necessary background and the factual matrix.
history of the mountainous and multitribal north-east frontier region which is
now known as Arunachal Pradesh ascends for hundreds of years into the mists of
tradition and mythology. According to Puranic legend, Rukmini, the daughter of
king Bhishmak, was carried away on the eve of her marriage by Lord Krishna
himself. the ruins of the fort at Bhalukpung are claimed by the Akas as the
original home of their ancestor Bhaluka, the grandson of Banna Raja, who was
defeated by Lord Krishnaat Tezpur (Assam). A Kalita Kinu, Ramachandra, driven from his kingdom in the plains of Assam, fled to the Dafla (now Nishan)
foothills and established there his capital of Mayapore, which is identified
with the ruins on the It a hill. A place of great sanctity in the beautiful
lower reaches of the Lohit River, the Brahmakund, where Parasuram opened a passage through
the hills with a single blow of his mighty axe, still attracts the Hindu
pilgrims from all over the counrty.
year 1838, when the British took over the administrative control of Assam from the last Ahom king, Shri Purander
Singh, it was thought necessary to extend elementary regular administration to
the adjoining north- east frontier region. The first import and step in this
direction was as such initiated with adoption of Regulation V of 1873
empowering the then Lieutenant Governor of Assam to prescribe a Line, called
'Inner Line' with a view
"to bring the commercial relations of the hills with the plains under
more, stringent control,
prevent of operation of speculators in "caoutchouc" (raw rubber),
prevent the spread of tea gardens, and
lay down rules for the possession of land and property beyond the 'Inner Line'
without special permit."
Notification bearing No. 1486, dated June 21, 1876 was issued by the Government of
India, foreign Department to the effect that the Governor General was pleased
to prohibit all British Subjects from going beyond the inner line without a
pass under the hand and seal of Deputy Commissioner. After covering the hilly
areas administratively, the whole of tribal region was divided into two
Frontier Tracts in 1915.
1937, the administrative status of North-East Frontier Tract could be effected
to under the Govemment of India's (Excluded and Partially Excluded Area) Order
the effective provision of the Section 91 (i) of the governmentoflndia Act,
1935, the above Frontier Tract came to be known as Excluded Area of Assam.
Again, the 1942 administrative change took place as a consequence of which Tirap
Frontier Tract was carved out of the Sadiya Frountier Tract. In 1943. an
adviser was appointed as the administrative head with a purpose to develop the
region 415 through gradual penetration of the administrative machinery.
change was effected in the administrative set-up on the 26th of January 1950 when the Government of Assam was
relieved of its responsibility for looking after the administration of the
Excluded Area. However, the discretionary power was vested in the Governor of
Assam, under the provision of the paragraph 18 of the Sixth Schedule to the
Constitution and Part 8 of the Table 20 of the Schedule, who served as the
agent of the President of the Union of the Republic of India.
course of administrative and political events Arunachal Pradesh has travelled
from the Tract to the Union Territory. Under the provision of NorthEstern Areas (Reorganisation)
Act, 1971 (Central Act 81 of 1971), the present status of Union Territory was
granted to the erstwhile North-East Frontier Agency and renamed as Arunachal
Pradesh on January 21,1972. The Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh was placed
under the charge of Chief Commissioner during that year.
year of 1975 also proved eventful for Arunachal Pradesh.
On 15 August, 1975, then existing Pradesh Council was
constituted into the Union Territory legislature. The panel of then existing five counsellors
was constituted into provisional Council of Ministers. Consequent upon the
above change, the post of Chief Commissioner was further elevated to the
position of Leutenant Governor on 15 August, 1975.
first general election to Arunachal Legislature was held in the month of
February, 1978. The Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly has 33 members in
total, out of which 3 members are nominated.
Arunachal Pradesh had nominated a representative in the Parliament. By an Act
of the Government of India in 1971, the Union Territory was provided with one seat-each in Lok
Sabha and Rajya Sabha, but these representatives were nominated by the
President of India. But at present, Arunachal Pradesh enjoys two elective seats
in the Lok Sabha based on the Universal franchise.
20th of February, 1987 Arunachal Pradesh was made a full- fledged State. Thus,
it will be seen that at no time Arunachal Pradesh was part of the Territory of
the State of the Assam though it was being administered by
the Governor of Assam or the President of India, as the case may be. The
following Charonological Statment of changes in the pattern of Administration
in NEFA occuring in P.N. Luthra's constitutional and Administrative Growth of
the North-East Frontier Agency is useful:- 416 1 2 3 4 5 6 1914 1919 1937 1947.
1950 1965 Adminis- Administ Adminis Adminis Admin- Admini tered by ered by tered
by tered by tered by tered the Gove- the Gov- the Gov- the Gov- the Pre- as be-
rnment of ernment ernor of ernor of sident fore by Assam of Assam Assam Assam
through theGov- with acting in acting on the Gover- erner special his disc the
nor of as agent safe- retion advice of Assam as of the guards. indepen- the
Pro- his agent Presi- dently of vincial acting in dentbut the provi- Ministry,
his disc- under ncial Minis- retion the try- underthe general general supervi-
super- sion and visionand control control of the of Mini- Minis- try of try of
External Home Affairs. Affairs.
Pradesh is situate in the North-East of India skirted by Bhutan in West, Tibet and China in North and North-East, Burma (Myanmar) in East and Assam in South. It consists of the sub-mountains and mountainous ranges
sloping to the plains of Asswn. It's capital is Itanagar. It is the largest
state areas wise (33,743 sq kms.) in the North- East region even larger than Assam which is the most populous. Arunachal
Pradesh is the most thinly populated state in India. According to 1991 census the population of Arunachal
Pradesh is 6.32 lakh and is scattered over 12 towns and 3,257 villages. There
ate 26 major tribes in Arunachal Pradesh. Broadly speaking, the people in the
state may be divided into three cultural groups on the basis of their
Monpas and Sherdukpens of Tawang and West Kemeng District;
and Singphos inhabiting the entire eastern part of the State; and 417 iii) The Noetes
and Wanchos adjoining Negaland in the Tirap District.
is the history of Arunachal Pradesh, a rich land and poor people. It was in the
year 1964 thousands of chakma families migrated from the then East Pakistan to India. The appellant along with other 56 families also migrated
to India. Being refugees they were given
shelter in government camps at Ledo within the district of Dibrugarh, Assam.
on they were shifted to the camp at Miao subdivision in Tirap District, now
within the State of Arunachal
Pradesh which was
then known as North East Frontier Agency (NEFA).
years 1966-68 the then Government drew up the Chakma resettlement schemes.
Altogether 5 schemes were sancitioned for settlement of 3100 families at a cost
of more than rupees two crores. The appellants were allotted lands in the
villages of Gautampur and Maitripur. The other Chakmas were also staying there.
stated earlier, on 2 1st
January, 1972 NEFA was
given the status of Union Territory and was renamed as Arunachal Pradesh. The appellants
strayed away from the original settlement area allotted to them by the
Government under the schemes. They got donation from the local Raja namely Ningrunong
Singpho of Dumba, an area of 1 sq. mile at Joypur village which is inside the
Inner Line. Earlier we were referred to Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation
1873. Clause 2 of the said Regulation states thus:
shall be lawful for the State Government to prescribe and from time to time to
alter by notificaton in the Official Gazette line to be called "The inner
Line" in each or any of the above named districts.
State Government may, by notification in the Arunachal Pradesh Gazette prohibit
all citizens of India or any class of such citizens or any persons residing in
or passing through such districts from going beyond such line without a pass
under the hand and seal of the Chief Executive Officer of such district or of
such other officer as he may, authorise to grant such pass', and the State
Government may, from time to time, cancel or very such prohibition."
Clause 7 is important. That reads as follows:
shall not be lawful for any person, not being a Native of the district
comprised in the preamble of this Regulation, to acquire any interest in land
or the product of land beyond the said "Inner Line" without the
sanction of the State Government or such officer as the 418 State Government
shall appoint in this behalf.
so acquired may be dealt with as the State Government or its said officer shall
State Government may also, by notification in the Arunachal Pradesh Gazette
extend the prohibition contained in this section to any class of persons, natives
of the said districts, and may from time to time in like manner cancel or very
such extensions Under Section 3 of the Foreigners Act of 1946, the central
Government may. by order, make provision for prohibiting regulating or
restricting the entrt of foreioners into India. In exercise of power conferred under Section 3 of the said Act
Foreigners Order of 1948 dated 10.2.48 was issued. Under clause 9 of tile said
Order the Central Government or with prior sanction, a civil authority may, by
order, declareany area to be a protected area for the purposes of this order.On
such declaration, the civil authority may, as to any protected area ,prohibit
any forging or any class of foreigners from entering or remaining in the area,
impose on any foreigner or class of foreigners entering or being entered in the
area. such conditions as may be mentioned under clause 9. Clause 9 of the Foreigers
Order of 1948 in sub-clause (2) prohibits the acquisition of any land or anv
interest thereon within the prohibited area by any foreigner.
Clause 9 the authorities concerned, by an order, may prohibit any foreigner
from remaining in any part of the protected area as stated in the Foreigners
Protected Area 0rder of 1958 which includes the territory of arunachal Pradesh.
in this light, the donation by Raja is clearly invalid.
the memorandum dated 26th of April, 1976 issued by the Extra Assistant
Commissioner Miao states that the agreement between the 'appellant, Khudiram Chakma
and the local Raja dated 20.11.72 has been approved by the Deputy Commissioner.
That is again mentioned in the direction given by the Executive Magistrate Miao
on 30th of May, 1977.
effect of approval by the Deputy Commissioner will be considered later.
this factual background, the question arises whether the appellants could claim
citizenship under Section 6-A of Citizenship Act of 1955. We will now extract
the said Section:
"6-A. Special Provisions as to the citizenship of persons covered by the
Assam Accord:- (1) For the purposes of this section:
"Assam" means the territories
included in the State of Assam immediately before the commencement of the
citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1985;
"detected to be a foreigner" means detected to be a foreigner in
accordance with the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 (31 of 1946) and the
Foreigners (Tribunals) Order 1964 by a Tribunal constituted under the said
Order, (c) "specified territory" means the territorises included in
Bangladesh immediately before the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment)
person shall be deemed to be of Indian origin, if he, or either of his parents
or any of his grandparents was born in undivided India;
person shall be deemed to have been detected to be a foreigner on the date on
which a Tribunal constituted under the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964
submits its opnion to the effect that he is a foreigner to the officer or
Subject to the provisions of sub-sections (6) and (7), all persons of Indian
origin who came before the 1st day of January, 1966 to Assam from the specified
territory (including such of those whose names were included in the electoral
rolls used for the purposes of the General Election to the House of the People
held in 1967) and who have been ordinarily resident in Assam since the dates of
their entry into Assam shall be deemed to be citizens of India as from the 1st
day of January, 1966.
(unnecessary)" As rightly urged by Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned counsel for
the State of Assam, two conditions are required to be satisfied under
sub-section (2). They are:
Persons who are of Indian origin (undivided India) came before 1.1.66 to, 420 Assam from the specified territory; and (ii) have been "ordinarily
resident" in assam as it existed in 1985 since their
date of entry in Assam.
appellants were no doubt persons of Indian origin. They came to Assam prior to 1. 1.66, namely, 3 1.3.64
from the then East
Pakistan, (presently Bangladesh) which is undoubtedly one of the
specified territories under Section 6 (1) (c).
Assam, as seen from 6A (a), means the
territories included in the State of Assam immediately before the commencement
of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1985.
the common case that chama people entered into Assam and stayed their for some time in Ledo within Dibrugarh
District. Thereafter they shifted to Miao, Arunachal Pradesh. According to the
appellant, since the territory of Arunachal Pradesh in 1964 was included in the State of Assam they
would be entitled to the benefit of Section 6A. This contention overlooks the
fact the Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, 1950 (Act X of 1950) applied to the territories presently forming
part of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. However, by the
North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 197 1, the territories of Arunachal
Pradesh were excluded from the purview of the Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act of 1950.
to Condition No. 2 the requirement is ordinarily resident in Assam from the date of entry till the
incorporation of Section 6A, namely, 7.12.85. As to the meaning of
"ordinarily resident" we may refer to Smt. Shanno Devi v. Mangal Saini
 1 SCR 576. We find the following observations at page 590 apposite:
is not necessary that for every day of this period he should have resided in India. In the absence of the definition
of the words ,.'ordinarily resident" in the constitution it is reasonable
to take the words to mean "resident during this period without any serious
far as the appellants and the chakmas were residing in Miao subdivision of Tirap
District in Arunachal Pradesh long before 1985, they cannot be regarded as
citizens of India.
find it difficult to appreciate the argument of Mr. Govind Mukhoty, learned
counsel, that the accident of the appellants living in Arunachal Pradesh should
not deprive them of citizenship. In this connection, it 421 is worthwhile to
note that Secion 6A of the Citizenship Act came to be incorporated by Amending
Act as a result of Assam Accord. If law lays down certain conditions for
acquiring citizenship, we cannot disregard the law. As laid down in Kennedy, v.
Mendoza-Martinez 372 U.S. 144, 159  "Citizenship is a most precious
right." Aristotle, Politics, III, 5 States thus:
earliest times, it has been such status alone that has enabled the individual
to share fully in the benafits of the community in which he resides:
"Compare Homer's words, like some dishonored stranger': he who is excluded
from the honors of the state is no better than an alien." That is the
position of appellant and the other 56 families.
they are aliens, the donation deed dated 20th November, 1972 is illegal. The Raja did not obtain
any permission for sale from the Government. From the records it is also clear
that the Rajs had been donating the lands and wag indulging in anti-social
activities for which he was warned. We do not know how the Deputy Commissioner
or the Extra Assistant Commissioner ever approve of this donation without there
being an express authorisation by the State. It is an admitted fact that the
place where the chakma families are residing is within the inner line notified
by the State Government. Therefore, the argument that they have cleared the
forest and reclaimed the land and as such would be entitled to a permanent abode,
cannot be accepted.
come to the validity of the impugned order. Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned counsel
has filed various notings and the orders from the relevant files. From the
files it is clear that there have been complaints against chakmas that they
were procuring arms and ammunition and indulging in anti- social activities.
The Deputy Commissioner, Tirap District on 19.8.81 wrote to the Extra Assistant
Commissioner, Miao as follows:
refer to your report under reference, wherein it is indicated that a large
number of arms and ammunitions seized from the possession of the Chakmas and
are still kept in Quarterguard. It is, therefore, requested to send us a
detailed report indicating datails of arms and ammunitions seized.
2.It is further seen from your report regarding judicial cases, submitted to
this office, that there are altogether 76 cases registered upto November, 1979
against the Chakmas and most of them were related to theft, assault and
offences under Forest Act. It is also therefore requested that more details on
specific offences and results thereof may be furnished urgently.
above two informations are urgently required by the Govt." A list of cases
including ones under Section 302 I.P.C. and other offences under Section 25A of
the Arms Act is enclosed to the letter quoted above.
also encroached Upon the neighbouring area by unfair means and created trouble
to the local people. An appeal was made to the Chief Minister in 1980 itself
that because of these criminal activities they should be removed.
not correct to state that the impugned notice came to be issued like a bolt
from the blue. The following letter of the appellant addressed to the Deputy
Commissioner speaks eloquently:
reference to the subject quoted above, 1 on behalf of the villagers of Joypur
Village have the honour to draw your kind attention to the following few lines
for favour of your needful action.
being landless in Abhoypur Village, a few Villagers consisting of fifty six
families have been settled in Joypur Village in the year, 1968 with the mutual
help of Sri Ningronong Rajkumar (Singphoo) and the same was approved by the
then Deputy Commissioner, Khonsa in accordance with the agreement adopted by
Sri Rajkumar Singphoo dated 20th Novn2.
the most regretful matter is that in spite of our permanent cultivation on the
area for long sixteen years.
all conformities with the Govt. as well as the neighbouring local people, we
are being harassed by notice after notice to shift from the area.
contrary, I am to state that the land where we have been directed to shift is
quite short and extremely unfit for cultivation due to which those vacant lands
are not yet accupied by anybody in spite of lying considerable landless
families in the said villages.
All documents created in regard to this matter are attached herewith for favour
of your kind perusal necessary action.
the circumstances stated here, I earnestly pray and request you afresh to look
into the matter and thereby revoke the shifting order at an early date.
shall remain greteful to you thereor From the endorsement. it is also seen that
two representatives met the Deputy Commissioner on 13th Februaty, 1984.
Therefore, there was an oral hearing. The above letter mentions notice after
notice to shift. It was alleged by a petition to the Chief Minister that the
Extra Assistant Commissioner had been paid handsomely to allow chakma families
to stay on illegally.
16th of November, 1982 the Extra Assisstant Commissioner called upon the Circle
Officer, Diyum to issue notices to the chakms families'staying at Joypur
village to return to their original place of settlement within 31.12.82. The
survey Reports for resettlement of these chakmas dated 27.4.83 inter alia
had been done in Maitripur and Gautampur areas where they have found 110 acres
and 245 acres respectively which are liable for settlement of Chakma
settlers." Thus, it will be clear that the reason for shifting these chakma
They are in illegal occupation of the protected area.
They are indulging in procurement of arms and ammunition.
They are indulging in criminal activities and associating with anti-social
They have been source of constant/trouble to the other tribals.
regards notice, it is seen from the above, that the very appellant had notice
after notice proposing to evict which was resisted. Therefore, as rightly urged
by Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned counsel- on ground realities, the plea of
natural justice is fully satisfied.
Ruling in Scheduled Caste and Weaker Section Welfare Association v. State of
Karnataka  2 SCC 604 affording a hearing to slum dwellers under the
Karnataka Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act, 1973, relied on by Mr. Govind
Mukhoty, learned counsel, has no application in the above circumstances.
then what is that is sought to be done to the appellants? They are asked to
settle in Maitripur and Gautampur villages from Miao. Cartainly, settling the chakmas
in a particular place is a matter of policy. This Court cannot enter into the
wisdom of such a policy, in view of what has been stated above, Arunachal
Pradesh is strategically important with Bhutan in the West, Tibet and China in the North and North-East, Burma (Myanmar) in the East.
true that fundamental right is available to a foreigner as held in Louis De Raedt
v. Union of India  3 SCC 554 at 562.
next point taken on behalf of petitioners, that the foreigners also enjoy some
fundamental rights under the Constitution of this country, is also of not much
help to them. The fundamental right of the foreigner is confined to Article 21
for life and liberty and does not include the right to reside and settle in
this country, as mentioned in Article 19 (1) (e) which is applicable only to
the citizens of this country As such Articles 19 (1) (d) and (e) are
unavailable to foreigners because those rights are conferred only on the
citizens. Certainly, the machinery of Article 14 cannot be invoked to obtain
that fundamental right. Rights under Article 19 (1) (d) and (e) are expressly
withheld to foreigners.
come to the humanitarian grounds which prompted the High Court of Gauhati to
direct compensation to the appellants in the event of their being evicted.
and Taylor speaking on the right enjoy asylum in Human Rights for the 1990 s
state at page 51 as under:
most urgent need of a fugitive is a place of refuge.
her most fundamental right is to be granted asylum.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights addressed this issue in deceptive
language. To the inexpert reader there is great comfort in Article 14 (1) of
that Declaration, which provides that: 'Everyone has the right 425 to seek and
enjoy in other cuntries' asylum from persecution, it seems tolerably clear,
however, that the right to enjoy asylum means no more than the right to enjoy
it if is granted." Again at page 52 it is stated thus:
14 of the Universal. Declaration of Human Rights, which speaks of the right to
enjoy asylum has to be interpreted in the light of the instrument as a whole;
and must be taken to mean something. It implies that although an asylum seeker
has no right to be granted admission to a foreign state, equally a state which
has granted him asylum must not later return him to the country whence he came.
the Article carries considerable moral authority and embodies the legal
prerequisite of regional declarations and instruments." Warwick Mckean,
dealing with the equality in the treatment of aliens, states in Equality and
Discrimination under International Law at pace 194 as under:
has long been recognized that persons who reside on the territory of countries
of which they are-not nationals possess a special status under international
law. States have traditionally reserved the right to expel them from their
territory and to refuse to grant them certain rights which are enjoyed by their
own nationals, e.g. the right to vote, hold public office or to engage in
political activities. Aliens may be prohibited from joining the, civil service
or certain professions, or from owning some categories of property, and states
may place them under restrictions in the interests of nations security or
public order. Nevertheless, once lawfully admitted to a territory, they are
entitled to certain minimum rights necessary to the enjoyment of ordinary
private life." At pages 195-196 it is stated thus:
international law provides that aliens should not be discriminated against in
their enjoyment of property rights once they have been acquired. If alien
property is nationalized whereas the property of nationals remains unaffected
then that act is dis- criminatory and prohibited under international law. As
Fitzmaurice points out, it has long been recognized that in certain matters,
the general treatment of foreigeners in a country, or compensation for property
which may be expropriated or nationalized, non-discrimination as between
persons of different nationality or against foreigners as compared with persons
of local nationality, amounts to a rule of international law, the breach of
which gives rise to a valid claim on the part of the foreign government whose
national is involved." Certainly, if the acquisition had been legal,
compensation could have been awarded. But in view of the Bengal Eastern
Frontier Regulation, 1873 and clause 9 (2) of the Foreigners Order 1948 we do not
think this is a case for award of' compenstion.
we have held that the principles of natural justice have been fully complied
with in this case, we record the statement made by learned counsel for the
State that the Chief Minister is ready to hear the Respondents (appellants
herein) or any representative of their group. Accordingly we direct that an
opportunity be afforded to the appellants by the Chief Minister and grant such
relief as he deems fit.
make it clear that it will be a post-decisional hearing.
we dismiss civil appeal arising out of SLP (C) No. 13767 of 1992 filed by Khudiram
Chakma while civil appeal arising out of SLP(C) No.12429 of 1992 filed by State
of Arunachal Pradesh is allowed. However,there shall be no order as to costs.
SLP (C) No. 13767/92 dismissed.
(C) No. 12429/92 allowed.