Autonomous District Councils and the Governor’s Role in the Northeast India

Published date01 September 2017
Date01 September 2017
AuthorJ. K. Patnaik
Subject MatterArticles
Indian Journal of Public
63(3) 431–443
© 2017 IIPA
SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/0019556117720594
1 Professor (HAG), Mizoram University (A Central University), Aizawl, India.
Corresponding author:
J. K. Patnaik, Professor (HAG), Mizoram University (A Central University), Aizawl 796004, India.
Autonomous District
Councils and the
Governor’s Role in the
Northeast India
J. K. Patnaik1
The office of governor with respect to the Sixth Schedule states does have many
important functions unlike the other states of the country, and for that mat-
ter even the Fifth Schedule area states. The governor has been endowed with
some discretionary power to maintain balance between the Constitution and
the autonomy and identity of the smaller minority hill tribes of the northeast
region, especially in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. The
object of the article is to examine the discretionary power of the governor in the
context of the autonomous district councils (ADCs) under the Sixth Schedule
areas of northeast India. Specifically, the discretionary powers that are bestowed
with this office need serious look as to their operation as well as relevance. The
second section of this article briefly describes the historical as well as constitu-
tional origin of the ADCs. The third section deals with the relevant constitu-
tional provisions per se vis-à-vis the discretionary powers of the governor under
the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution with some examples, especially relating to
Mizoram. The concluding section provides some general remarks regarding the
relevance of ADCs in ensuring real autonomy of the hill tribes in the context of
the various structural and operational constraints.
Discretionary power of governor, northeast India politics, governor, Sixth
Schedule, Indian Constitution

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