Tuesday, 08 October, 2013, the Gauhati High Court admits the Writ Petition being W.P (C) No. 5978 / 2013, in regard to the scheduling of the Koch-Rajbongshi community in the Scheduled Tribe’s list of Assam, filed by Centre for Koch Rajbanshi Studies and Development (CKRSD), a non-profit organization from Guwahati, represented by its Chairperson, Sri. Vikram Rajkhowa and Managing Trustee, Sri. Arup Jyoti Das. Hon’ble Justice Ujjal Bhuyan issued Rule to both the State and the Central Govt. giving three months notice.
The Koch-Rajbongshi community of Assam is an indigenous aboriginal tribe of North-East India, which has been demanding for inclusion of their community in the S.T lists of Assam since 1968. On 09/08/1994 the Tribal Research Institute, Govt. of Assam submitted a report stating that there are adequate justifications for the inclusion of the Koch-Rajbongshi community in the S.T lists of Assam. Based on the said report the Registrar General of India had also given ‘No Objection’ to the inclusion of the community in the S.T list of Assam. Thereafter the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 1996 to provide for inclusion of Koch-Rajbongshi in the S.T list of Assam was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 14/02/1996 and again on 12/07/1996. The House referred the said Bill to a Select Committee of Lok Sabha, which also recommended the inclusion of the Koch-Rajbongshi community in the S.T lists of Assam. In the meantime as Parliament was not in session the President promulgated the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Ordinance, 9 of 1996 on 27/01/1996 to give effect to the Scheduling of the Koch-Rajbongshi community in the S.T lists of Assam. The said Ordinance was re-promulgated three times, i.e., Ordinance No. 19 of 1996, No. 30 of 1996 and No. 3 of 1997, but as the Bill was not enacted on time the said Ordinance lapsed and since then the issue of the inclusion of the Koch-Rajbongshi community in the S.T lists of Assam is hanging. Being aggrieved the Centre for Koch Rajbanshi Studies and Development (CKRSD) has filed the present petition before the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court seeking adequate relief.
The Chief Secretary – Govt. of Assam, the WPTBC Deptt. – Govt of Assam, the Tribal Research Institute – Govt. of Assam, the Secretary – Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Secretary – Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India has been made respondents. Senior Advocate, Sri. P.K Goswami and Advocate, Sri. Santanu Borthakur, is appearing for the petitioners before the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court.