ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
National Highway No. 52
*815. SHRI LAETA UMBREY: Will the Minister of DEFENCE be pleased to state:
(a) whether the progress in the construction of the National Highway No. 52 in Arunachal Pradesh is very slow;
(b) if so, the reasons therefor,
(c) the target fixed for the completion of the Highway; (d) the progress in the construction work
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of the bridges over the rivers Siang, Dibang and Lohit; and
(e) the details of the fund allocated, year-wise since the beginning of the construction of this Highway?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS AND THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (SHRI S.
KRISHNA KUMAR): (a) to (e). A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.
STATEMENT The Arunachal Pradesh sector of National Highway 52 (approx 336 Kms) from Jonai to Dirak was taken over by the Border Roads Organisation in phases and the process was completed in 1988. 2. At present, 90 Kms of this road, comprising the sector from Jonai to Ranaghat (42 Kms), 8.5 Km of Roing-Hunli road and Tezu to Brahmkund (40 Kms) has been completed to all weather specifications, Another 166 Kms, in various stretches, is trafficable only during fair weather. As regards the balance 80 kms, construction has been taken up in respect of 21 Kms from Passighat to Mebo. Construction of the remaining 59 Kms will be taken up on finalisation of the road alignment and sitting of briges, which is under investigation by a Technical Board. A time schedule for completion of the works on the Highway will be finalised on receipt of the Board's report. 3. The following progress has been achieved in construction of Siang and Lohit bridges:- ------------------------------ Siang - 28% Lohit - 13.5% ------------------------------ 5-6 Oral Answers The constion of Dibang bridge will be taken up only after the alignment of the Mebo-Nizamghat sector of the road is finalised. 4. The funds allocated and expenditure incurred on these works since 1982-83 are given below:- --------------------------------------------------------------------- Year Allocation Expenditure (Rs. in lakhs) --------------------------------------------------------------------- 1982-83 5 5 1983-84 43 43 1984-85 85 117 1985-86 98 127 1986-87 185 223 1987-88 280 311 1988-89 588 682 1989-90 695 976 1990-91 1104 968 3083 3452 Performa Charges 87 --------------------------------------------------------------------- Total:- 3170 *** 3452 ---------------------------------------------------------------------
*** Excess expenditure of Rs. 282 lakhs is spread over a period of 10 years.
SHRI LAETA UMBREY: Sir, the Arunachal Pradesh sector of National Highway 52, which is approximately 336 Kms long, was taken over by the Border Roads Organisation in 1982-83. It has incurred an expenditure of Rs. 34.52 crores only in nearly 10 years. 90 Kms of this road has been completed to all weather specifications. Another 116 Kms, in various stretches, is trafficable only during fair weather. As stated by the Minister, this has not been constructed by the Border Roads Organisation but it has been taken over from the State P.W.D.
Unfortunately, even today the Border Roads Organisation could not complete the alignment of 59 Kms of this road. On completion, the National Highway 52 of this sector will connect three districts of Arunachal Pradesh, namely, East Siang, Dibang and Lohit. So, I would like to know from the hon. Minister, whether the new Government will take up this road on priority by allocating more funds.
SHRI S. KRISHAN KUMAR: Sir, we share the concern of the hon.
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the priority to be given to this National Highway and the importance this National Highway has in the development of Arunachal Pradesh.
Sir, it is true that the construction of this Highway has not been as fast as we would have desired and this is because of some factors which are peculiar to the North-Eastern region.
There is no road at all existing for 80 Kms between Ranaghat Nizamghat and 8.5 Km on Roing-Hunli and these Portions of the road have to be constructed. Another 77 Kms road requires realignment. Yet another 95 Kms require proper siting of bridges, that is marginal realignment.
Sir, this road cuts across a very large number of major rivers.
46 water gaps require major permanent bridges. Some of the rivers change course during the year. Therefore, there is difficulty in finalising the alignment of the road and siting of bridges. Movement of men, material equipment, etc. is very time consuming. Three bridges are under construction; 18 bridges are under investigation.
Considering the magnitude and importance of the problem a Technical Committee has been constituted by the Defence Ministry to coordinate planning, programming and speedy execution of the projects.
Availability of funds is not the constraint. The problems which I mentioned are the constraints.
SHRI LAETA UMBREY: Sir, I do not know the hon. Minister has received this information. As I belong to this locality, I know very well about it. About 90 km. to 160 km. of all weather roads are not constructed by the Border Roads Organisation. But this has been taken over by the PWD. My second supplementary question is this. After completion of this National Highway 52, this will link some of the routes, leading to the Chinese border.
There is another District Headquarter of Dibang Valley which is called Anini and it was linked by road only last year, but it is not an all-weather road.
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There is another circle administration by name Walong. It was captured by Chinese during 1962 aggression. This administrative headquarter had also been linked by road last year. In these two roads, traffic cannot go. So, I would like to know from the hon.
Minister whether, you will take up this issue on a priority basis.
SHRI S. KRISHAN KUMAR: We are aware that this National Highway is of a strategic importance and that is the reason why it is under the administrative and works control of the Border Roads Organisation. As I have mentioned in the answer to the first supplementary, several portions of this National Highway's alignment are yet to be finalised.
The suggestion of the hon. Member for linking these two points which he has mentioned in his supplementary can be considered by the Government. We can examine his suggestion.
SHRI SURYA NARAYAN YADAV: Mr. Speaker, Sir, almost all the border areas of the country have been covered by road and in the same line the construction of the road (highway) from Darbhanga to Forbesganj had been approved by the then Prime Minister, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru in order to cover the border areas touching China, Bengal (Bangladesh) and Nepal. But the Ministry of Defence has not yet started the construction of this road. Hence, I would like to know from the hon.
Minister whether the construction of that road is under his consideration which is very important from the security point of view.
SHRI S. KRISHAN KUMAR: Sir, the Border Roads Organisation has constructed and is in charge of more then 18000 km. of roads and we are achieving something like 700 km. of construction of roads, on an average, every year. It is a continuing process. To the question which the Hon. Member has asked, about a particular road near Bengal-Nepal Border. I do not have the
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ready answer. I will have to verify it at what stage that particular proposal has reached.
Separation of Judiciary from Executive in hill districts of Assam *816. DR. JAYANTA RONGPI: Will the Minister of LAW, JUSTICE AND COMPANY AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) whether the judiciary is not separated from executive in Karbi Anglong and North Cachar hill districts of Assam;
(b) if so, the policy of the Union Government in this regard; (c) whether the Government propose to separate the judiciary from executive in these two hill districts and bring it at par with the rest of the country;
(d) if so, when; and
(e) if not, the reasons therefor?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS AND MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF LAW, JUSTICE AND COMPANY AFFAIRS (SHRI RANGARAJAN KUMARAMANGALAM): (a) As per information made available by the State Government, the judiciary is not separated from the executive in these districts of Assam.
(b) Provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India apply to the Administration of the tribal areas referred to in (a) above.
(c) to (e). No such proposal is under consideration at present.
DR. JAYANTA RONGPI: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Minister has confessed that judiciary is not separated from the executive in the hill districts of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar. To the part (b) of my question regarding the Government's policy in regard to non- separation of judiciary from the executive he has mentioned this.
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He has mentioned that it is a provision of the Sixth Schedule which is applicable to the administration of these two districts of Assam. Here the concerned provision of this para four of the Sixth Schedule has clearly restricted the District Councils from judicial functioning; they can administer the judicial functioning only when the cases are among the tribals. If one of the parties of the dispute is non-tribal, the Disstrict Council cannot try their case. So, all other cases, where involvement of the non-tribals is there and where one of the parties is non-tribal, are tried by the normal courts.
Even the District Councils could not be established in 1951 because of the obstacles and hindrances placed by the State Government. So, not a single case of the tribals during the last 40 years has been tried by the District Council. So, for all practical purposes, the judicial functions have been performed by the normal courts since Independence. In view of this, I would like to know from the hon. Minister, whether he thinks that this practice of non- separation of judiciary from the executive is in violation of the basic principle of neutrality and natural justice; whether he thinks or not that these people of the hill districts of Assam are being deprived of their natural justice because the judiciary is not being separated from the executive.
SHRI RANGARAJAN KUMARAMANGALAM: With regard to separation of judiciary from the executive, under Article 50 of the Constitution itself-Directive Principles of State Policy-it is clearly laid down that the State would and shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the Union. But, in addition to this, the Constitution itself envisaged in the Sixth Schedule and has categorically set out a methodology by which the question of application of laws of Civil Procedure as well as Criminal Procedure would apply in case of certain tribal areas which are notified, specified. This has been done in the framework of the Constitution in the case of tribal areas which have got historical background where the customs and methods of functioning are
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different from other areas. It is with this scheme of things that the Sixth Schedule itself is there. Under Clause 5 of the Sixth Schedule, it is categorically laid down that it is the Governor who will decide on the applicability of the Code of Civil Procedure and the code of Criminal Procedure with regard to these areas.
With regard to the Government of India's overall policy, we are totally in tune with it; and we have to be in tune withit. Under Article 50, we believe in the separation of the judiciary from the executive; and it is keeping this in mind and applying the recommendations of the various Law Commissions starting from the 37th itself that the Criminal Procedure Code of 1974, when it was enacted, categorically had divided what is called the Judicial Magistrates and the Executive Magistrates. But the applicability of this will depend on the decision that the State Government would take, the Governor would take; and that is provided in the Constitution. There is very little that the Union Government can do in this matter. Since this is a matter which is quite delicate, we would not like to voice our views what is right and what is wrong; and within the framework of the Constitution of India, it is not really proper for us to say that it is unfair or fair to those specified two districts in Assam.
SHRI CHITTA BASU: You can very well advise the Governor.
DR. JAYANTA RONGPI: I need your protection. He did not answer my supplementary question. I asked categorically whether he thinks this is a deprivation of the people of the two hill districts of Assam of their basic rights of natural justice. He did not reply this question.
MR. SPEAKER: You are asking for the opinion; it is not given on the Floor of the House.
DR. JAYANTA RONGPI: He has misquoted the procedure also. With your permission, I would like to read out just a few lines of para 4 in the Sixth Schedule. It is
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clearly mentioned in Paragraph 4 of the Sixth Scheduled of the Constitution and I quote:
"4. Administration of justice in autonomous districts and autonomous regions.
(1) The Regional Council for an autonomous region in respect of areas within such region and the District Council for an autonomous district in respect of areas within the district other than those which are under the authority of the Regional Councils, if any, within the district may constitute village councils or courts for the trial of suits and cases between the parties all of whom belong to Scheduled Tribes within such areas"
So, my second question is, that-as he has misquoted the Constitution I am quoting it--
MR. SPEAKER: Are you asking your second supplementary?
DR. JAYANTA RONGPI: He has misquoted it, that is why I am quoting the Constitution where the provision is laid down.
MR. SPEAKER: This is not a court of law where we are interpreting the Constitution. You can put a question and get a reply. It is for the court to interpret the Constitution and the law. We do not have the time for that purpose here.
DR. JAYANTA RONGPI: For all practical purposes, the judicial district councils have now been governed by the traditional customs or customary laws. It has been so since independence. Not a single case has been tried under the criminal law in the court
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in the districts of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar hill districts. It is done by the normal courts. This is the only part of the country where the Deputy Commissioner or the Deputy Collector is the Sessions Judge and the Judicial Magistrates and the Executive Magistrates are also the Judicial Magistrates.
MR. SPEAKER: Please put the question.
DR. JAYANTA RONGPI: I would like to know whether the Government would write to the Government of Assam that they should separate the judiciary from the executive in the interests of natural justice.
MR. SPEAKER: This is left to the State Government to do it. If you want, you reply to it.
SHRI RANGARAJAN KUMARAMANGALAM: If I may clarify, per chance, if I voice an opinion, immediately my honourable friends on the other side will say that I am interfering with what is called the State's jurisdiction and I am doing what is normally called, axe to break down the federal structure within the Constitution and they will quote the Sarkaria Commission, the Law Commission and everything. I have said categorically that the Government is committed to the Directive Principles of State Policy. We think, principally that there should be a division between the judiciary and the executive; and nothing more I should say at this moment. If I do say anything more, it would definitely mean stepping on the toes of the State Government.
SHRI MOHAMMAD YUNUS SALEEM: You can issue a directive.
SHRI CHANDRA JEET YADAV: An ex-Governor is advising the Law Minister!
SHRI MOHAMMAD YUNUS SALEEM: Under the Directive Principles you can issue a directive.
SHRI CHANDRA JEET YADAV: The Minister is very intelligently trying to evade
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the question and enunciating the general principle.
MR. SPEAKER: Let us be fair to him.
SHRI CHANDRA JEET YADAV: I am paying a compliment to him that he is intelligent.
Dr. Jayanta Rongpi, the hon. Member of the House has brought certain facts and the feelings of the people of that area, that they strongly feel that the judiciary is not separated from the executive, and therefore many people are not getting a fair justice.
Now this is an all-India question. It was decided in an all-India Judicial Conference that this provision of the Constitution about the separation of the judiciary from the executive should be implemented.
Now the Minister has said that it is for the Governor to do it. Will the Government advise the Governor of Assam or the State Government of Assam, that keeping these facts in mind, they may consider this question, at least let them consider it and invite public opinion?
SHRI RANGARAJAN KUMARAMANGALAM: I think it would not be proper for me to say that the Government of India would advise the Governor on this issue. Let me categorically say that we would definitely communicate the feelings of the honourable Member and the other Members that they are not satisfied with the non-separation of the judiciary and executive, to the Government of Assam.
SHRI MOHAMMAD YUNUS SALEEM: Are you satisfied?
SHRI RANGARAJAN KUMARAMANGALAM: We have categorically stated that we are committed to Article 50 of the Constitution. It is enshrined as a Directive Principle of State Policy and we are committed to it. But, then, it is specifically provided in the Constitution itself that in so far as the tribal areas are concerned an exception will be made and it would be the Governor, with the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers of
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