NEW DELHI: Sikkim chief minister Prem Singh Tamang, on Sunday (February 5), met union law minister Kiren Rijiju in New Delhi.
Sikkim CM PS Tamang, during his meeting with union law minister Kiren Rijiju, discussed the observation made by the Supreme Court on the Nepali community living in Sikkim.
“I met the Hon’ble Union Minister of Law, Government of India Shri Kiren Rijiju today and submitted a memorandum to apprise and discuss in detail the observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India,” said Sikkim CM PS Tamang.
He added: “During the discussion, the Hon’ble Law Minister patiently heard the issues regarding observation of the Hon’ble Apex Court which had given impression that the Sikkimese of Nepali origin are the persons of foreign origin settled in Sikkim.”
The Sikkim CM “highlighted, and emphasized the provision of India Constitution under Article 371F wherein the full protection and rights of Sikkimese people are safeguarded”.
“Hon’ble Law Minister was apprised that Government of Sikkim has filed review petitions before the Hon’ble Apex Court to suitably address the matters in the larger interest of all the Sikkimese people,” said Sikkim CM PS Tamang.
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He further informed that the union law minister has assured that the central government will file a review petition and “will extend full support to the Government of Sikkim in this regard”.
“He (Rijiju) further confirmed that the Solicitor General of India will appear before the Hon’ble Apex Court and Government of India is seriously taking this matter for an early resolution in the interest of all the Sikkimese,” Sikkim CM PS Tamang said.
Notably, the SKM government in Sikkim led by PS Tamang has been under fire from opposition parties and other civil society groups over its ‘inaction’ on the observation of the Supreme Court.
Sikkim witnessed many protests across the state after the Supreme Court, while hearing a case, observed that Sikkimese Nepalis were people of foreign origin.
On January 13, while delivering its verdict on the petition filed by Association of Old Settlers of Sikkim (AOSS), demanding exemption of income tax for the old settlers who had settled in Sikkim before its merger with India on April 26 1975, the apex court had observed that Sikkimese Nepalis were people of foreign origin.
The apex court’s observation terming Sikkimese Nepalis as people of foreign origin triggered an unrest with political parties and several organisations taking out protest rallies.