GS Paper - 2 (Polity)

The Supreme Court on 3 January 2022 agreed to hear a PIL challenging the system of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state of Manipur and issued notice to the Centre and the state government on the plea alleging that extension of the 140-year-old Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 is "reminiscent of the colonial oppression and discrimination".

What

  1. A bench headed by Justice S Abdul Nazeer sought a response on a PIL filed by Amra Bangalee, a Kolkata-based organisation with a unit in Assam, demanding revocation of the ILP in Manipur.
  2. The extension of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation to the state of Manipur by way of impugned 1950 order and 2019 order was violative of fundamental rights of the citizens as it provides unbridled power to the state for restricting the entry and exit of non-indigenous persons
  3. The present petition is being preferred challenging the system of Inner Line Permit in Manipur as imposed by way of the Adaptation of Laws (Amendment) Order promulgated by the President of India which extends 140-years old colonial legislation--the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873--enacted by the British to create its monopoly over the newly set up tea plantations in Assam as well as to protect its commercial interests in the Hills areas from Indians.
  4. The draconian ILP system is fundamentally opposed to the politics of social integration, development and technological advancement in areas beyond Inner Line, apart from hampering tourism within the state, which is a major source of revenue generation for these areas.
  5. Manipur is the fourth state after Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram where the ILP regime is applicable.
  6. To visit ILP-regime states, outsiders, including people from other states of the country, need permission.

Flashback

  1. The ILP system came into effect in Manipur on 1 January 2020. ILP is a document that Indian citizens from other states are required to possess in order to enter the state.
  2. In Manipur, four types of permits are issued — temporary, regular, special and labour permits.
  3. Initially, these permits were issued manually at seven counters at different entry points, including Imphal airport.
  4. However, to do away with the hassle faced by travelers in applying for the permit, the state government launched an online portal in February 2020.