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The Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution

news-details Image Source May 27, 2021 11:54 IST · 3 min read

Fifth Schedule

The Fifth Schedule of the constitution deals with the administration and control of scheduled areas as well as of scheduled tribes residing in any state other than the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

In the Article 244(1) of the Constitution, expression Scheduled Areas means such areas as the President may by order declare to be Scheduled Areas.

Fifth Schedule provides for establishment of a Tribes Advisory Council (TAC) in any State having Scheduled Areas.

No regulations shall be made unless the Governor, in case a TAC exists, consults such TAC.

At present, 10 States namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana have Fifth Schedule Areas.

Tribal habitations in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir have not been brought under the Fifth or Sixth Schedule.

The Sixth Schedule

The Sixth Schedule of the constitution provides for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to safeguard the rights of the tribal population in these states. This special provision is provided under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution.

The 6th Schedule was formulated to provide limited autonomy to the tribal regions of North-East, on the recommendation of Bordoloi Committee formed by the Constituent Assembly.

The tribal areas in the 6th Schedule area have been constituted as autonomous districts. There are 10 autonomous districts and autonomous councils in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, each autonomous district can also have a separate regional council.

The tribals have been given freedom to exercise legislative and executive powers through an autonomous regional council and autonomous district councils (ADCs).

The autonomous development councils are empowered with civil and judicial powers, they can also make laws on matters like land, forests, fisheries, social security, etc. with due approval from the governor.

Autonomous district councils have powers to form courts to hear cases where both parties are members of Scheduled Tribes and the maximum sentence is less than 5 years in prison.

Autonomous district councils have powers to levy taxes, fees and tolls on; building and land, animals, vehicles, boats, entry of goods into the area, roads, ferries, bridges, employment and income and general taxes for the maintenance of schools and roads.

The acts passed by parliament and state legislatures may or may not be levied in these regions unless the president and the governor gives her or his approval, with or without modifications in the laws for the autonomous regions.

The 6th Schedule area does not fall outside the executive authority of the state, the governor is empowered to organise and re-organise the autonomous districts including change their names or define their boundaries.

If there are different tribes in an autonomous district, the governor can also divide the district into several autonomous regions.

Each autonomous district and regional council consists of not more than 30 members, of which four are nominated by the governor and the rest are elected. All of them remain in power for a term of five years.

However, the Bodoland Territorial Council (Assam) is an exception as it can constitute up to 46 members.

Related Info

Most of these autonomous district councils are located in North East India but two are in Ladakh, a region administered by India as a union territory.

Presently, 10 Autonomous Councils in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura are formed by virtue of the Sixth Schedule with the rest being formed as a result of other legislation.

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