SC removed observations in its judgment describing Sikkimese-Nepalese persons as "people of foreign origin"

SC removed observations in its judgment describing Sikkimese-Nepalese persons as "people of foreign origin"

The observations in the Supreme Court's ruling that labelled Sikkimese-Nepalese people as "people of alien origin" were removed on February 8. The Sikkimese-Nepalese community strongly objected to this statement, which was made in the judgement in the case Association of Old Settlers of Sikkim vs. Union of India. This statement sparked protests in Sikkim. 

At first, the bench consented to remove the component "the persons of foreign origin settled in Sikkim like the Nepalis". However, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta requested that the entire sentence be deleted. The bench then agreed to remove the part "namely the Bhutia Lepchas and the persons of foreign origin settled in Sikkim like the Nepalese”

The bench stated that the writ petitioner had made some changes to the writ petition that had not been brought to the Court's attention today while considering the applications. 

While dictating the amending order, Justice Nagarathna said:

"It is noted that in the said writ petition there was an amended writ petition filed pursuant to an application filed…unfortunately learned counsel for the writ petitioners did not bring to the notice of this court the substantial amendments brought. It was their duty to bring to the notice of the court. Now the MA has been filed seeking corrections as if error has occurred from the point of the court…however, having heard learner senior counsel for the respective parties, we think it is just and proper to correct certain words used in paragraph 10A and 68.8 in my judgment..."

According to the ruling in the case, it is illegal to exclude long-term Indian residents of Sikkim who arrived there before Sikkim's merger with India on April 26, 1975, from the definition of "Sikkimese" under Section 10(26AAA) of the Income Tax Act. The remark, which was made while discussing Sikkim's history and had no influence on the judgment's final justification, resulted in massive protests in Sikkim. 

A further clarification that the ruling did not address the element of Article 371F was requested by the Solicitor General. A clarification is not necessary, the bench ruled, as Article 371F was not at issue in the case.


Judgment dated 13.01.2023

Related stories:-

Supreme Court to hear petition filed against SC judgment indicating that all Nepalis settled in Sikkim are of "foreign origin"


Appearance of the advocates:-

For Petitioner(s) 
Mr. K.V. Viswanathan, Sr. Adv.
Ms. Haripriya Padmanabhan, Adv.
Mr. Senthil Jagadeesan, AOR
Ms. Shivani Vij, Adv.
Mr. R. Venkataraman, Adv.
Mr. Chanakya Dwivedi, Adv.
Ms. Pooja Dhar, AOR
Mr. Arvind P. Datar, Sr. Adv.
Mr. G. Umapathy, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Venkat Subramanian, Adv.
Mr. Rohit K. Singh, AOR
Mr. Pritam Bishwas, Adv.
Mr. Ankit Pandey, Adv.
Mr. Aditya Singh, Adv.
Mr. Suvin Kumaran, Adv.

For Respondent(s) 
Mr. N. Venkataraman, ASG
Mr. H.R. Rao, Adv.
Mr. Devashish Bharukha, Adv.
Mr. Sughosh Subramanyam, Adv.
Mr. Rajat Nair, Adv.
Mr. Bhuvan Kapoor, Adv.
Mr. Pranay Ranjan, Adv.
Mr. Vikrant Yadav, Adv.
Ms. Gargi Khanna, Adv.
Mr. Raj Bahadur Yadav, AOR
Mrs. Anil Katiyar, AOR
Mr. Vivek Kohli, Adv. Gen.
Mr. Sameer Abhyankar, AOR
Mr. Abhinav Mishra, Adv.
Ms. Nishi Sangtani, Adv.
Ms. Vani Vandana Chhetri, Adv.
Ms. Yeshi Ranchhen, Adv.
Mr. Pranav Sachdeva, Adv.
Ms. Neha Rathi, AOR
M/s. Arputham Aruna And Co, AOR
Mr. Narendra Kumar, AOR

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