Salient Features of 53rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1986

Introduction

The 53rd Constitution Amendment Act came into picture in 1986 in order to ensure ultimate peace & statehood in Mizoram in order to eradicate unnecessary interference of the Central Government. Numerous laws were enacted in order to ensure complete freedom to Mizoram from external interference for eg. laws which were related  to spheres of social relationship & community conduct applicable to Mizoram. Because of this amendment act only we can see the utmost peace in Mizoram after years.

The Constitution (Fifty-third Amendment) Bill, 1986 (Bill No. 88 of 1986) was passed into law as THE CONSTITUTION (Fifty-third Amendment) Act, 1986. It included a Statement of Objects & Reasons.

Statement of Objects & Reasons

The signing of a Memorandum of Settlement on Mizoram on June 30, 1986, between the governments of India & Mizoram & the Mizo National Front, included provisions for, among other things, granting statehood to the Union territory of Mizoram, subject to the other provisions of the Memorandum. In accordance with paragraph 4.2 of the Memorandum, “all necessary legislative s well as a administrative initiatives will be undertaken which includes those for the enactment of Bills for the amendment of the Constitution as well as other laws for the conferment of statehood as aforesaid, to come into effect on a date to be notified by the Central Government,” in order to give effect to the decision.

Paragraph  4.3 of Memorandum provides as follows:-

This paragraph says that the Act of Parliament, unless specifically agreed otherwise by the Mizoram Legislature, Acts of Parliament shall not apply to the new State of Mizoram with respect to –

  1. Religious or social practices of Mizos because they want that the said Act must ensure or protect religious or social practices of Mizos;
  1. They (Mizos) have their own customary law & procedure;
  1. Mizos wants to run the Administration of Mizoram  & wants to take their own decisions with respect to  civil & criminal justice with accordance with Mizo Customary Law;
  1. As Mizos are very attached to their customary laws so they want their ownership & transfer of land is also governed by their customary laws;

However, the aforementioned provision will not be applicable to Central Acts that are currently in effect in Mizoram, a Union territory, as of the day THE CONSTITUTION (AMENDMENT) ACT,1986 comes into force.

Amendment in Constitution of India

The 53rd constitution amendment act further amends the Constitution of India. The Government of India in order to make Mizos peace accord more effective as well as to implement that, passes this amendment known as 53rd constitution amendment Act 1986

  • Parliament enacted it in the Thirty-seventh Year of the Republic of India.
  • Only it may be by the notification in the official gazette by the Central Government, it shall come in to force (on such date as mentioned by the Central Government).
  • Insertion of new Article 371G – This insertion of Article 371G took place in the constitution  after Article 371F of the constitution. The following article  371G inserted because this provides special  provision  with respect to the state of Mizoram.
  • If we see the history of Article 371 the state is always kept in special category under this article specially the new states which established over the time for example- the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Goa etc. these all states got special categories under this Article. As we all know this fact earlier that Article 370 & 371 always talks about Special Provisions and Temporary Provisions.  The same thing is mentioned in this amendment that the state of Mizoram should have special category status & established as special state. No Parliament Act shall be applicable in the state of  Mizoram if :
  1. It infringes the religious & social practices of the Mizos;
  1. The government should not interfere with Mizo customary law & procedure & promote the same;
  1. The Mizos must have full authority to take decision & they run the administration according their Mizo customary laws;
  1. Ownership & transfer of land shall apply as per decision of state of Mizoram, until and unless the legislative assembly of the State of Mizoram by a resolution so decides means it completely depends on the discretion of the legislative assembly of the State of Mizoram, if assembly says that law should be implemented than only otherwise not.
  • With the proviso that nothing in this provision applies to any Central Act that was in effect in Union Territory of Mizoram before to the 1986 Constitution (Fifty-third Amendment) Act’s commencement;
  •  The State of Mizoram’s Legislative Assembly must have at least forty members.

Need of 53rd Constitution Amendment Act

There is an urgent need of this amendment in Mizoram at that time due to Political crisis from past few years because of the central government interference as well as the International boundary of Myanmar & Bangladesh attached with the boundaries of Mizoram. So only by this constitutional amendment (53rd) the problem can be solve because this amendment can provide statehood to the Mizoram and they have their own laws and regulations without any interference.

The Story begins in 1959 when the people facing the agricultural loses due to bamboo death & they want compensation by the government & for this they started doing violence by seeing the neighbor states Nagaland where people  also doing violence against government. The Mizoram at that time was considered as the part of Assam & due to huge crises an organization is formed named Mizo National Front (MNF)in 1961 and asserted  Mizo people’s right to self determination.

 Initially  the MNF adopted the non-violence to meet its political objective but when the crises is not in control & there is brutal  circumstances increases like terror attacks  & Indian government not ready to listen. This compel them to take up arms & they also establish the Mizo National Army (MNA). After that in end in February 1987 Mizoram finally got statehood after the Mizo Peace Accord between the Union Government & Mizo National Front & MNF chief Mr. Laldenga become interim Chief Minister of Mizoram. This is how the most violent organization become the political representation from there the Mizoram became the most peaceful state of North-East. That’s why this Amendment (53rd Constitution Amendment Act) consider as the most effective amendment as compare to other amendments in North- East.

References

  • Jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/important-amendments-to-the-constitution-1292048897-1#:~:text=The%20Constitution%20(53rd%20Amendment)%20Act,community%20conduct%20applicable%20to%20Mizoram.
  • Kapil Sikka, (30 October, 2021), Fifty Third Constitutional Amendment Act 1986 explained, </watch?v=98d29YCU5-I> accessed on 27-06-2022.

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