The Telegraph
Saturday , March 31 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Outcry over Nagaland bills

Kohima, March 30: The Nagaland Assembly, after opposing 33 per cent reservation for women, has now come out against the Nagaland Marriage Bill and the Nagaland Lokayukta Bill.

The Assembly, cutting across party lines, and Naga organisations led by the Naga Hoho, had opposed the implementation of 33 per cent reservation, saying it would infringe on Article 371 (A) of the Constitution, which states that no act of Parliament is applicable in Nagaland without the consent of the state Assembly.

It has referred the matter to the select committee of the Assembly to review the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2002, which was amended in 2006.

The state government has also deferred the polls, slated for next month, after strong opposition from Naga organisations and the decision to refer the matter to the select committee, which will submit its report within six months.

The Nagaland government has also opposed the Nagaland Lokayukta Bill, 2012, claiming that it would infringe on Article 371 (A) of the Constitution.

Minister for parliamentary affairs T.R. Zeliang said the Assembly would oppose the bill and some bills and acts of Parliament implemented in the state would have further ramifications in Naga society.

The Angami Public Organisation, which had opposed 33 per cent reservation, had opposed the Marriage Bill, stating that there was no much problem in the Naga way of matrimony.

Moreover, the bill may compromise the Naga rights and ownership to immovable properties in Nagaland.

A marriage once registered, the organisation said, may give legal documents for vested interests to contest the properties of the Nagas.

However, parliamentary secretary for law and justice, Yitachu, said the bill was similar to the registration of births and deaths and would be optional, meaning it will be open for those who want to get their marriages registered while there will be no penalty for those who choose not to.

He said Nagaland was the only state, which does not have the Marriage Registration Act.

The parliamentary secretary said once the bill becomes an act, registration would be compulsory, though no penalty would be imposed.

According to the bill, after the act has been brought into force in any area under Clause (3) of Section-1, every marriage contracted in Nagaland shall be registered in the manner provided in Clause 7 of the act. The parties to a marriage or their fathers or guardians shall prepare and sign a memorandum and shall deliver or send by registered post the memorandum in duplicate to the registrar of marriages in the area, within a month from the date of marriage.

Making any false statement in the memorandum shall be punished with a fine.