The Scheduled Areas (Assimilation of Laws) Act, 1953

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The Scheduled Areas (Assimilation of Laws) Act, 1953 (Act 16 of 1953) was assented on 6th May, 1953 and the same was enacted with the object to provide for assimilation of certain laws which are having effect in the Scheduled area under this Act, to the laws having effect in the Nowgong and Sibsagar districts in the State of Assam. The Act is making more similar provision to that of the Act of 1951 namely, The Scheduled Area (Assimilation of Laws) Act, 1951.

Section 2 of the Act defines and specifies the certain terms used under this Act. Likewise, the terms ‘appointed day’, ‘Scheduled areas’, etc. which are used at many occasions under this Act have also been provided for under this provision.

Similarly, section 3 is most important provision which speaks of such extension or assimilation of laws. The provision says that, every laws which were in force or having effect in the area scheduled under this Act should ceased to have effect in that area. However, the provision has exception in the terms that all the things or actions done or taken in pursuance with the provisions of that Act, should not be made effectless. The section says under its second sub section that, the laws having force and effect in the District of the State of Assam namely, Nowgong should also have effect and be brought into force in the specified area under 1st Paragraph of the Schedule annexed with the Act. Similarly, the next sub section (i.e. sub section (3) of Section 3) says that every laws which were being in force or having effect in the another district of State of Assam i.e. Sibsagar District, should be brought in to force in the Area specified in the Paragraph 2 of the Schedule annexed with the Act.

Section 4 is again of importance to the effect that, the Central Government under this Section can direct that any law which before the appointed day was in force in the Scheduled areas to have continue effect therein or any part specified thereof. The Central Government is also authorized under this Section to act contrary i.e. if any law which was extended to and having effect in any Scheduled area should not have effect after appointed day. Such direction can be issued by the Central Government for any period, which may extend to 12 months from the date of appointed day, as provided under this Section.

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Section 5 of the Act makes saving provision in respect of every suits or other legal proceedings which were amongst the parties which were belonging to the Scheduled Tribes community as specified under Schedule, in the item 2 of the Part-I – Assam,  annexed to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 or any other specified Tribes. Such suits or other legal proceedings should be tried and continue to be tried under the Rules for the Administration of Justice and Police in the District of Sibsagar and Nowgong Mikir Hills Tract, in the State of Assam. Such proceedings should not be derogated by the effect of this Act. Similarly, section 6 is important, as it is providing for removal of difficulties by the Central Government, regarding transition from one or group of laws to another. For such removal of difficulties, the Central Government to provide by an order notified in the Official Gazette.

The above referred Schedule, the area specified under which is subjected to this Act, has been provided under section 7 of the Act. The Schedule provides for two paragraphs mentioned the areas from where the Act effect of existing laws were sought to be taken off by the provisions of this Act and to which the laws having applicability over the given Districts i.e. Nowgong and Sibsagar districts in the State of Assam to be made applicable within the provisions of this Act.

The Act, like the Act of 1951 is also identified for its repeal by the Central Government. The reason specified by the Law Commission for repealing this Act is that the purpose of the Act now has been fulfilled. The Law commission of India has made the recommendation for as to repealing of this Act, in its 249th Report (Second Interim Report) in respect of its study on “Obsolete laws: Warranting Immediate Repeal” submitted on October, 2014. The similar recommendation was also made earlier by the P.C. Jain’s Commission Report.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.