SALIENT FEATURES OF THE 13TH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA[1]


The main feature of the 13th Amendment gave the status to the Naga people and made special provisions for it. An agreement was made in the year 1960 in July between the Leader of the Naga People Convention and the Government of India.

History-

  • In the year 1918, Naga requested the British that Naga should not be included in the Indian Union.
  • In the year of 1946, the Naga National Council (NNC) was formed under Angami Zapu Phizo[1].
  • On the date 14th of August, 1947 Naga National Council declared Nagaland an Independent State.
  • In the year 1951, the Naga National Council conducted a plebiscite[2] to make Nagaland a Sovereign Country.
  • In the year 1952, Phizo formed the underground Naga Federal Army (NFA) and Naga Federal Government (NFG).
  • In the year 1958, Armed Forces Special Power Act was enacted, and the government of India sent the army to deal with the insurgency.

Statement of Objects and Reasons-

  • In July 1960, an agreement was reached with the leader of the Naga People Convention by the Government of India.
  • Then it was decided that the Naga Hills- Tuensang Area of Nagaland should be given a separate area within the State of Assam.
  • When they will have a separate state they are ready to be part of the Union of India.
  • The Parliament act shall not apply to Nagaland unless and until it is decided by The Nagaland Legislature with regard of-
    • Religious Practices or Social Practices of the people of Nagaland
      • That’s why the women’s reservation of the Panchayati Raj Act is not applicable;
    • Nagaland Customary Law and Procedure;
    • The Civil and Criminal justice administration will be involving decisions according to Naga Customary Law;
    • The ownership of land and transfer of land will be governed according to Naga Customary Law.
  • The Bill accordingly seeks to amend the Constitution to provide for the aforesaid matter and matters ancillary thereto.
  • A separate bill shall be passed for the formation of the new state of Nagaland under Article 03[3] and along with it Article 371 (A)[4] should be added.
  • Along with it Article 170[5] was amended and according to it Nagaland’s Legislative assembly will now have 60 seats for the representation of all tribes.

Agreement[6]

  • The Name

The Naga Hills–Tuensang Areas, as defined by the Naga Hills–Tuensang Area Act 1957, shall become a state inside the Indian Union and shall be known as Nagaland from now on.

  • The Ministry of Justice in command

Nagaland will be governed by the Indian government’s Minister of External Affairs.

  • The Governor of Nagaland.
  • The President of India appoints a Governor for Nagaland, who is vested with executive powers by the Nagaland government. Nagaland is his base of operations.
  • His administrative Secretariat will be led by a Chief Secretary based at Headquarters, with support from additional Secretariat personnel as needed.
  • During the transitional period and for as long as the law and order situation is disturbed due to hostile activity, the Governor will have special responsibility for law and order. After consulting with the Ministry, the Governor shall act at his discretion in carrying out this specific obligation. When normalcy resumes, the Governor’s particular responsibility will end.
  • Ministerial Council
  • A council of ministers, led by a chief minister, shall assist and advise the Governor in the performance of his duties.
  • The Naga Legislative Assembly will be answerable to the Council of Ministers.
  • The Legislature.

A Legislative Assembly will be formed, consisting of as many elected and nominated members as are judged necessary to represent various Tribes. (Furthermore, a properly constituted body of Experts could be formed to evaluate and determine democratic representation principles.)

  • Representation in the Parliament

Nagaland will be represented in the Union Parliament by two elected MPs, one for the Lok Sabha and the other for the Rajya Sabha.

  • Legislative Acts

Unless specifically applied to it by a majority vote of the Naga Legislative Assembly, no Act or Law approved by the Union Parliament affecting the following provisions shall have legal force in Nagaland:

  1. The Naga’s Religious or Social Practices.
  2. Customary Laws and Procedures in Nagaland.
  3. Civil and Criminal Justice, as far as Naga Customary Law judgements are concerned.

The present laws governing the administration of civil and criminal justice, as outlined in the Naga Hills District’s Rules for the Administration of Justice and Police, will remain in effect.

  1. The ownership of land and its resources, as well as their transfer.
  • Local Self-Government.

To deal with concerns relating to the separate tribes’ regions, each tribe shall have the following rule-making and administrative local bodies:

  1. The Council of the Village;
  2. The Range Council; and
  3. The Tribal Council,

These Councils will also handle disputes and cases involving customary laws and usages.

  • Judicial Administration
  • The present system of civil and criminal judicial administration shall be maintained.
  • Courts of Appeal;
  • The District Court-Cum-Sessions Court, High Court, and Supreme Court of India (for each district).
  • The Naga Tribunal (for the entire state of Nagaland) in cases decided under customary law.
  • Tuensang District Administration
  • The Governor shall administer the Tuensang District for ten (ten) years or trines in the Tuensang District are agreeable to shouldering more responsibilities under the advanced administrative system. The ten-year period of administration will begin simultaneously with the implementation of the constitution’s detailed workings in other parts of Nagaland.
  • In addition, elected representatives from all of Tuensang District’s tribes shall constitute a Regional Council for Tuensang District, and the Governor may recommend representatives to the Regional Council. The Deputy Commissioner will serve as the Council’s Ex-Officio Chairman.
  • Provided also that, on the advice of the Regional Council, actions would be taken to establish various councils and courts in places where the people believe they are capable of doing so.
  • Furthermore, unless specifically recommended by the Regional Council, no Act or Law passed by the Naga Legislative Assembly shall apply to Tuensang District.
  • Further, the Regional Council shall monitor and direct the operations of the various Councils and Tribal Courts within Tuensang District, deputing local officers to function as Chairman as necessary.
  • Provided, further, that Councils of such mixed-population areas, or those that have not yet elected to affiliate with a specific Tribal Council, shall be directly under the Regional Council for the time being. After ten years, the situation will be evaluated, and if the people wish, the term will be extended further.
  • Financial Assistance from the Indian Government

The Government of India will have to contribute the following to the Consolidation Fund of India to complement Nagaland’s revenues:

  • A one-time payment for each year’s development programme in Nagaland; and
  • A grant-in-aid to help with administrative costs.

The Government of Nagaland will draught and submit a proposal for the aforementioned grants to the Government of India for approval. The Governor would be in charge of ensuring that the funds made available by the Indian government are used for the purposes for which they were approved.

  • Forest Area Consolidations

The delegation requested that the following be recorded:

The Naga delegation debated whether the Reserve Forest and neighbouring Naga-inhabited territories should be included. They were directed to Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution, which outline the procedure for transferring land from one state to another.

  • Consolidation of Naga Areas that are Nearby

The delegation requested that the following be recorded:

The Naga leaders voiced their desire for the surrounding areas to become part of the new state. It would be pointed out to them on behalf of the Government of India that Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution allowed for the expansion of any State’s area, but that the Government of India could not commit to this at this time.

  • Establishment of a Naga Regiment

To allow the Naga people to fulfil their ambition to play a full role in India’s defence forces, the topic of forming a separate Naga regiment should be thoroughly investigated and put into action.

  • Transitional Period 
  • Upon reaching a political agreement with the Government of India, the Government of India will submit a Bill for any constitutional amendments that may be required to carry out the decision. The NPC delegate4s will be shown the draught bill before it is presented to Parliament.
  • During the transitional phase, an Interim Body comprising elected representatives from each tribe shall be formed to assist and advise the Governor in the administration of Nagaland. The Interim Body’s term of office will be 3 (three) years, renewable if necessary.
  1. Regulation of the Inner Line

In Nagaland, the rules enshrined in the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873 will continue to apply.


[1] Wikipedia-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angami_Zapu_Phizo

[2] The direct vote of all the members of an electorate on an important public question such as a change in the constitution.

[3] Indian Kanoon (Article -03)- https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1659104/

[4] Indian Kanoon (Article 371 (a))- https://indiankanoon.org/doc/371998/

[5] Indian Kanoon (Article -170)- https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1131530/

[6] The Sixteen Point Agreement- https://nagalandjournal.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/the-sixteen-point-agreement/

[1] National Portal-

https://www.india.gov.in/my-government/constitution-india/amendments/constitution-india-thirteenth-amendment-act-1962

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