A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking reservation for two Scheduled Tribes, 'Limboo' and 'Tamang', in Sikkim Legislative Assembly.
The petition, filed by members of organisation 'Sikkim Limboo Tamang Tribal Joint Committee', has sought a direction to the Centre to take appropriate steps to amend the provisions of the Representation of the People Act to provide reservation to Scheduled Tribes 'Limboo' and 'Tamang' in Sikkim Legislative Assembly.
The plea, filed through advocate Suvidutt M S, has sought a direction to the state of Sikkim to implement any steps taken by the Centre regarding reservation to 'Limboo' and 'Tamang' in the Assembly.
It has also sought a direction to the Delimitation Commission of India, which is responsible for re-drawing boundaries of Assemblies and Lok Sabha constituencies based on recent census, to issue a final notification giving effect to reservation for these two tribes based on the 2011 census data.
"It is submitted that as of now, three elections to state assembly have been held in the years 2004, 2009 and 2014 without any reservation of seats in the Legislative Assembly for two tribal communities after they were declared as Scheduled Tribe in 2003.
"If no action is taken in this regard, this deprivation would continue until the census after the year 2026 i.e. till year 2031 which is after 13 years," the petition said.
It also said that Article 332 constitutionally mandates reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly, therefore, the tribal communities of 'Limboo' and 'Tamang' are entitled to get it.
The petition pointed out that tribal communities of 'Bhutias' and 'Lepcha' are given reservation in the state assembly and not extending the benefit to recently added 'Limboo' and 'Tamang' tribes would deprive them of their constitutional right.
According to the 2011 census, with 91,399 inhabitants, both the tribes total to about 14.97 per cent of the entire population of Sikkim.
"Comparing the population size of the Limboo and Tamang tribal communities with that of total population of Sikkim, the proportionate seats out of total 32 seats allotted, the Limboo and Tamang Schedule Tribe community is entitled to get 5 seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly," the petition said.
"Inaction on the part of the Respondents herein in not discharging their constitutional obligation under Article 332 of the Constitution of India has already caused irreversible damage and prejudice to the community of 'Limboo' and 'Tamang in the State of Sikkim and if not corrected by the orders of this Hon’ble Court, these two Scheduled Tribes are likely to get deprived of their constitutional rights mentioned above for a further period of 8 years till 2026," it said.