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Report No. 248

6. Sonthal Parganas Act, Act 37 of 1855

Category: State Reorganisation and Extension of Laws

Recommendation: Repeal

The Act was enacted to remove, from the operation of the general laws and regulations, certain districts inhabited by persons belonging to the Sonthal tribe. The Preamble to the Act states that 'the general Regulations and Acts of Government now in force in the Presidency of Bengal are not adapted to the uncivilized race of people called Sonthals'.The Act cites this as the reason for removing from the operation of such laws the district inhabited by this tribe.

The Act employs language to describe the tribal population that has no place in the modern era. The language of the Act runs contrary to the spirit of the Constitution. Further, the Sonthal areas administration is now covered under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. Therefore, this Act should be repealed, as has also been recommended by the PC Jain Commission in its Appendix A-5.


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