|Scrutiny by legal experts will make report foolproof: Dutta|
R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Sept 21 - As the Centre has instructed Assam Government to get the report of the high level committee on implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord examined by legal experts, senior advocate Niloy Dutta has suggested that a committee of former Supreme Court Judges can be constituted to carry out the job. He also said that there is nothing wrong in getting the report of the committee examined by legal experts to make it foolproof.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Dutta, who was a member of the committee, which was headed by Justice (Retd) Biplab Sarma, suggested that the Government can form a committee comprising former Chief Justice of India, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and retired Supreme Court Judges, Justice Dr Mukundakam Sarma and Justice Amitabh Roy to study the report of the committee.
He said that these three retired Judges know the ground situation in Assam and they are also fully aware of the threat faced by the indigenous people of the State due to infiltration of foreign nationals. That is why, they will be the best persons to study the report of the committee and suggest measures accordingly. However, he said that the Government should form such a committee within this week and the legal experts should be requested to give their opinion within a month.
Dutta said that the Constitutional safeguards to be given to the “Assamese people” under the provisions of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord should be foolproof so that no one can challenge those in future. Some people have already raised questions on whether some of the recommendations including 80 to 100 per cent seat reservation in Assembly, Parliament and local bodies as well as job reservation are legally tenable and there is nothing wrong if the proposals are examined by independent legal experts. He, however, pointed out that such measures have already been extended to some states of the country.
Dutta, who is the Advocate General of Arunachal Pradesh, said that implementation of certain recommendations like reservation of seats would require Constitutional amendment and only the Central Government would be able to do that. But there are certain recommendations like protection of land rights of indigenous people, setting up of centres for preservation and protection of language and culture, protection of tribal belts and blocks etc which can be implemented by the State Government.
Replying to a question on whether the Government is legally bound to implement the recommendations of the committee, Dutta said that it is up to the Government to decide. The Government can accept the whole report or parts of it, he added.
It may be mentioned here that the committee formed by the Government had three legal experts on it. It was headed by a retired Judge of the Gauhati High Court, while, the Advocate Generals of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh were members of it.