Imphal: The Joint Coordination Committee on Tribal Rights, Manipur (JCCOTR-M) said today that it was shocked to learn the “irrational ruling” of the High Court of Manipur dated April 19, 2023, on Meitiei/Meetei Scheduled Tribe (ST) demand.
In a statement, the tribal committee said that the “ruling is a unilateral judgement” of the High Court, wherein, opinions and views of the “opposing parties” were not sought and heard of. “While the honourable High Court is meant to pass an impartial judgement, the Court is glaringly biased in its judgement in favour of the ST demand by the majority Meitei, thereby losing its sanctity and trust of the opposing parties,” JCCOTR-M said. It added that the judgement passed “is ex-parte and highly objectionable”.
The tribal committee also alleged that it is a case of politically motivated judicial activism in favour of one community. “The Hon’ble High Court has crossed its jurisdiction and judicial purview by making political decisions,” it also said.
The JCCPTR-M then said that the Meitei/Meetei society is a Hindu caste structure, with Scheduled Caste, OBC, Kshatriyas and Brahmanas.
“The Meitei/Meetei community has long been Sanskritised into a complex Hindu caste society. The Meitei/Meetei society and its culture is a 3000 years old civilization that evolved and took form in the Imphal valley. The Meitei/Meetei culture is highly developed and is of fine intricacy. The Meitei/Meetei classical dances are universally acclaimed. Their scripts and language are recognised and well protected in the 8th Schedule of the Indian constitution. Economically and politically, they dominate the State of Manipur. Hence, one cannot conceive of any reason as to why the Hon’ble High Court took such a drastic ruling in a hasty manner,” the JCCOTR-M added.
The tribal committee then said that the direction of the High Court to the Government of Manipur “to recommend for the inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the ST list of the State/ India is condemned by the JCCOTR-M and has raised a strong objection”.
The tribal committee then said that the demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei community in the ST list on the ground for protection and safeguard of the Meitei/Meetei community from being marginalised or extinction has no logic at all. The JCCOTR-M pointed out that the “majority community” of the state who are already identified as “SC, OBC and General” and also well protected by the constitutional provisions such as ILP, the 8th Schedule of the Indian constitution and political dominance in the state legislative assembly is “totally against all legal and constitutional relevances and is therefore construed as an act of sheer jealousy and greed instinct”.