Bill drafting committee optimistic after meeting with legal experts

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Aripat Meira paibis demonstrated at Pechi Chingolak by forming a human chain.
Aripat Meira paibis demonstrated at Pechi Chingolak by forming a human chain.

IMPHAL, July 25: Both the All Manipur Bar Association and the High Court Bar Association have shown keen interest in assisting the drafting committee of a new bill to protect the indigenous people of the State with their legal expertise, chairman of the government constituted drafting committee Thoudam Debendra Singh told media persons today.

Addressing media persons after a meeting of the drafting committee and legal experts from the two bar associations, Debendra who is also the Law and Legislative Affairs minister said that the legal experts will help the committee in preparing a new bill which will be acceptable to both the public as well as the government authority giving assent to it.

Today`™s meeting with the legal experts was the third meeting hosted by the four member government drafting committee.

The meeting was attended by a five-executive member team of the AMBA and eight-executive member team of the HCBA led by their respective presidents.

Devendro said `Today`™s discussion was enriched by the participation of the legal practitioners.`

`In the larger objective of brainstorming together with all the stakeholders, the drafting committee will continue to discuss the bill with all the stakeholders.`

The Law minister also said that the legal perspective regarding fundamental rights, right to settlement, land laws were discussed to develop a conceptual clarity among the members and all stakeholders to ensure proper drafting of the new better.

We will continue to utilize their service whenever required as we progress with the drafting, he said.

He further said, we wish to expedite the drafting and yet it is imperative to be guided by the legal experts hence we have requested for their inputs within a few days.

On the framework of the bill, the chairman insist, `The new bill will be based on reasonable restrictions within the framework of five points namely: Freedom of movement; Right to settlement; Ownership rights under MLRLR Act 1960; Improvement in Labour law and Deportation vis a vis 1951 as base year.`

Responding to a media query regarding efforts initiated by the drafting committee to invite the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System in this consultative process, the chairman said, `We acknowledge the importance of their opinion and continue to await their response.`

He however reflected the absence of officially communicating to JCILP till date.

Replying to a query as to the absence of a constitutional expert in the process, the law minister quickly retorted that a constitutional expert will be consulted at a later stage only after a preliminary bill is drafted.

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