Centre stands with people of Sikkim: Rijiju

Monday, Feb 06, 2023 07:45 [IST]

Last Update: Monday, Feb 06, 2023 02:08 [IST]

Centre stands with people of Sikkim: Rijiju

GoI also to file review petition in Supreme Court
GANGTOK,: Union Law minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday assured Sikkim Chief Minister PS Golay that the Union government stands with the people of Sikkim on the widespread discontentment triggered by a recent Supreme Court judgement.

During his meeting with Golay at New Delhi, the Union Law minister informed that the Union of India is also filing a review petition in the Supreme Court through its solicitor general in the Supreme Court.

“I assure all the people of Sikkim that this judgment does not deal with or dilute Article 371F of the Constitution and has nothing to do with anyone's citizenship. We value the Constitutional status of every genuine Indian and will be protected at any cost,” said Rijiju in his social media account after meeting Golay.

On January 13, the Supreme Court had granted income tax exemption to all Indians domiciled in Sikkim on or before the merger date of April 26, 1975. The verdict given in a 2013 petition filed by Association of Old Settlers of Sikkim (AOSS), however, quickly generated public outrage in Sikkim over the Sikkimese Nepali community being referred as persons of “foreign origin” and dilution of “Sikkimese” definition.

Taking into account the public sentiments, the Sikkim government has filed review petitions before the apex court. The Chief Minister followed this up by meeting the Union Law minister on Sunday at Delhi where he submitted a memorandum to apprise and discuss in detail the observations of the Supreme Court of India.

“During the discussion, the Law minister patiently heard the issues regarding observation of the apex court which had given impression that the Sikkimese of Nepali origin are the persons of foreign origin settled in Sikkim. I highlighted, and emphasized the provision of India Constitution under Article 371F wherein the full protection and rights of Sikkimese people are safeguarded,” said Golay in his official social media account.

Golay shared that the Union Law minister was apprised that Government of Sikkim has filed review petitions before the Supreme Court to suitably address the matters in the larger interest of all the Sikkimese people.

The Chief Minister added that he was assured by the Union Law minister that the Centre will extend full support to the Government of Sikkim in this regard.

The Law minister further confirmed that the Solicitor General of India will appear before the apex court and Government of India is seriously taking this matter for an early resolution in the interest of all the Sikkimese, said the Chief Minister.

Tourism minister BS Panth was also present during the meeting.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi