Discuss the provisions related to reservation of Anglo-Indian members in the Parliament, which has recently been removed.
The Parliament recently passed the Constitution (126th Amendment) Bill which extends reservation for SC/STs but does away with the provision for nomination of Anglo Indians to Lok Sabha and state Assemblies.
Who are Anglo-Indians ?
Anglo-Indians trace their origins to the British East India Company official policy to encourage marriages of its officers with local women. The term first appeared in the Government of India Act, 1935.
The Article 366(2) of the Constitution Of India states that An Anglo-Indian is a person whose father or any of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent. This person is domiciled within the territory of India and is or was born within such territory of parents habitually resident therein and not established there for temporary purposes.
According to the 2011 census, 296 people identified themselves as belonging to the Anglo Indian Sect. But this has been contested by the All India Anglo Indian chief who cites that this data doesn’t touch the actual population size.
Provisions related to reservation
- Provision of two Anglo-Indians to the House of people is provided by Article 331. It can be done when the President is of the opinion that the community is not adequately represented in the House. The idea of such nominations is linked to Frank Anthony, head of the All India Anglo-Indian Association, following his suggestion to Jawaharlal Nehru.
- Article 333 of the Constitution provides for nomination of one Anglo-Indian to the Legislative Assembly of the State by the President he is of the opinion that the community is not adequately represented in the House.
- At present 14 Assemblies have one Anglo-Indian member each: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. This has be done away by 126th Amendment.
- As per the 10th Schedule of the Constitution – Anglo-Indian members of the House of the people and State Assemblies can become a member of any party within six months of nomination. However, once they become a member, they are bound by their party whip.
The Anglo-Indian members enjoy the same powers as other members, however they cannot vote in Presidential election because they have been nominated by the President.