On Wednesday, the Local Residents Bill was passed again in the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly. Earlier, in November 2022, the government had sent this bill to the governor for approval. However, after receiving legal advice from the Attorney General, the governor had returned it with suggestions for amendments.
The bill includes provisions for local employment on positions in the third and fourth categories in the state. The Assembly once again passed the Local Residents Bill based on the 1932 records on Wednesday. Previously, on November 11, 2022, the government had sent it to the governor, who had returned it after considering legal advice from the Attorney General.
While objections from the Attorney General were read out in the assembly, the state government did not accept the governor’s suggestions. The bill was passed in the assembly without any amendments. After the implementation of this bill, those considered local residents in Jharkhand will be those who have been residing in the state since before 1932, and their names are recorded in the land survey documents of 1932.
The bill specifically provides for local employment on positions in the third and fourth categories in the state. However, there are legal challenges to the implementation of this bill, as the Jharkhand High Court had previously rejected the state’s domicile policy based on the 1932 records.
Nevertheless, arrangements have been made to implement the provisions of this bill after including them in the ninth schedule of the constitution. It can only be enforced if the central government includes it in the ninth schedule.
Speaking in favor of the bill in the assembly, Chief Minister Hemant Soren stated that the dignity and identity of millions of tribals and indigenous people in the state are linked to domicile based on the 1932 records. The aim is to ensure that local people have rights over the property and jobs in the state. The Chief Minister also supported the government’s stance on the valid Vedic advice received from the Attorney General.
The state government will send the bill to the central government to include it in the ninth schedule for protection. The Chief Minister emphasized that under Article 309 of the Constitution, the state legislative assembly has the power to make rules. Therefore, the decision was made to create the bill, obtain the assembly’s approval, and send it to the central government for inclusion in the ninth schedule.
Upon the passage of the bill, several legislators from the ruling party chanted slogans of “Jai Jharkhand,” and opposition members questioned whether the BJP would support the bill’s protection in the ninth schedule. While the BJP did not oppose the bill openly, its legislators did not openly support it either.
The Chief Minister mentioned that even last time, the opposition had agreed on this bill, but after its passage, they approached the governor to complain.