Scence from the incident on Sunday

New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against some of its observations referring to Sikkimese Nepalis as “immigrants”.

In a series of tweets, the Union Home Minister’s office said the central government has submitted before the Supreme Court its position about the sanctity of Article 371F of the Constitution that safeguards the Sikkimese identity.

“Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) files review petition in Supreme Court against some of the observations and directions in a recent judgement dated 13th January, 2023 in two petitions of 2013 and 2021 filed by Association of Old Settlers of Sikkim and Ors in Supreme Court.

“GoI (Government of India) reiterated its position about the sanctity of Article 371F of the Constitution that safeguards the Sikkimese identity, which should not be diluted. Further, the observation in the said order about persons of foreign origin settled in Sikkim like Nepalis should be reviewed as the said persons are Sikkimese of Nepali origin,” the tweets said.

The MHA’s move came amid protests in Sikkim over the Supreme Court observation referring to Sikkimese Nepalis as “immigrants” while extending income tax exemption to all old settlers of the state.

On Sunday, a delegation from Sikkim, led by the state BJP president D R Thapa, also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who assured them that the central government would file a review plea before the Supreme Court to seek clarity on the term “Sikkimese” in line with constitutional provisions, official sources said.

Shah told the delegation that sentiments of the Sikkimese community would be respected.

The people of Sikkim are an integral and essential part of India and the constitutional provision for the people of Sikkim shall be protected, Shah was quoted as saying by the sources.

Also Read | Sikkim protests: Bhaichung meets Chamling over ‘Nepali seat’


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