Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947
Whereas it is expedient to enact a law for the governance of the Manipur
State, His Highness the Maharajah of Manipur is pleased to enact as
Title : This Act shall be called the Manipur State Constitution
Extent and Application : This Act shall extend to the
whole of the Manipur State inclusive of the Hill Areas saving that
it shall not apply in any matter where a specific reservation of
powers is made to any Authority in the Hills under the provisions
of the Manipur State Hill (Administration) Regulation, 1947.
Government of the State by His Highness the Maharajah:
The territories for the time being and hereafter vested in the Maharajah
are governed by and in the name of the Maharajah. All right, authority
and jurisdiction which appertain or are incidental to the Government
of such territories are exercisable
by the Maharajah subject to the provision of this Act.
Succession : Succession to the throne shall be governed
by the law of Primogeniture provided that the heir must be the legitimate
son of a marriage recognised by the Council of Ministers. In the
event of failure of heirs in the direct male line,
His Highness the Maharajah shall, after consultation with the Council
of Ministers and the Assembly, designate his heir.
Attainment of Majority : The Maharajah or his heir shall
be taken to attain majority at the age of 21 years.
Council or Regency :
Where by reason of the Maharajah being a minor or where by
reason of any mental defect or grave bodily sickness as a result
of which the Maharaja becomes permanently incapable of exercising
his powers, the Council of Ministers shall take steps to set
up a Council
of Regency which shall exercise those powers in the State and
shall continue in office for such time as the Council may determine.
Notwithstanding the provision of Sub-Section (a) above, the
Maharajah in consultation with the Council of Ministers may,
at any time or for any reason which may appear suitable, set
up a Council of Regency to exercise his functions.
A Council of Regency set up under Sub-Section(a) and (b) above,
may comprise of one or more persons as may seem desirable. The
Regent or Council of Regency shall before taking office be required
to take an Oath before the State Assembly to be loyal to the
State and to observe faithfully the Constitution and Laws.
Wherein any event it shall be necessary to set up a Council
of Regency either for the reasons laid down in Sub-sections(a)
and (b) above or for any other reason or where for any reason
the Maharajah has become
incapable of exercising his powers before such regency can be
set up, the Council of Ministers shall take whatever steps may
be necessary for the Governance of the State till such time
as the Regency is created.
Failure of Heirs and Disputed Succession :
In the event of failure of Heirs in the direct male line and
the failure of the Maharajah to designate his Heir under section
4 above, a joint extraordinary session of the State Assembly
and the Council of Ministers shall immediately be convened and
shall remain in closed and continuous session till it shall
have determined by a 75%
majority of the members present and voting, the person to whom
the throne shall pass.
Where for any reason the succession to the throne is disputed,
the Council of Ministers shall, on the death of the Ruler, take
such steps as may immediately be necessary for the good governance
of the State and
shall refer the matter under dispute to the Chief Court for
the decision. Where any party is aggrieved by the decision of
the Chief Court, and appeal shall lie to such authority as may
be determined hereafter.
The Maharajah's Prerogatives :
All family matters which are the Maharajah's sole concern as
head of the Ruling family, all matters which are his sole concern
as the Defender of Faith and all matters connected with Titles,
Honours and Palace ceremonial shall be deemed to fall within
the Maharajah's personal prerogative and in such matters the
Maharajah shall exercise full discretion subject to the provisions
of the Constitution and the Laws of the State.
The Maharajah's prerogative shall not, however, be taken to
comprise any matter wherein the legitimate interests of the
State administration or a civil right sustainable in a court
of law is involved. It will be within the prerogative of the
Maharajah to remit punishment and pardon offenders
subject to the provisions of the Manipur State Courts Act provided
that this prerogative shall not prejudice the right of any individual
It shall be the prerogative of the Maharajah and the Maharani
that neither may be made answerable at Law or subject to any
legal proceeding in the State Courts. Their persons and property
shall be inviolable.
Notwithstanding Section 8(b) above, it shall be lawful for
the State Council in consultation with the Chief Court to draw
up a Statement of charges against the Maharajah
or the Maharani where it is proved beyond all possible doubt
that the Maharajah or the Maharani has been guilty of Murder
or any other heinous offence or of any extreme Political Crime
against the provisions of the Constitution.
On a statement of charges being drawn up under clause (c) above,
the Council shall present it before the Maharajah or the Maharani
and require satisfaction. Should satisfaction be not forthcoming
the Council may refer the matter to such Authority as may be
CHAPTER II - DEFINITIONS
In this act and the Rules issued thereunder unless there is something
repugnant to the subject or the context:
State shall mean the Manipur State comprising the whole territory
of Manipur as delineated in the maps of the Survey of India
current at the date of this enactment.
The Maharajah means His Highness the Maharajah of Manipur,
the constitutional Head of the State.
Chief Minister means the Office entrusted with the Chief Executive
Function of the State.
Minister means a member of the Council of Minister appointed
under this Act by name or by virtue of his
office to administer certain branches of the State Administration
and to perform the duties and exercise the power imposed and
conferred upon a Minister
by this Act and Rules framed thereunder.
Council means the State Council of Ministers constituted under
Assembly means the State Assembly as constituted under this
Gazette means the Official journal of the State by means of
which important orders, notices, communiques, etc.,
Speaker means the President of the Assembly and include the
Deputy Speaker in the absence of the Speaker or in the absence
of both, a member voted to the chair.
Civil List means the appropriation of funds for the expenses
of the Ruling Family and the Privy Purse of the Ruler.
Privy Purse means such portion of the Civil List as is appropriated
exclusively for the personal expenses of Maharajah.
Revenue includes all receipts of the State from State assets,
from all lands, Forest, Taxes, Fines, Penalties, Forfeitures,
Escheats, Lapse and other sources.
Rules means any Rule issued under this Act.
Fundamental Rights shall mean those rights which the State
People shall enjoy as of right under this Act.
The pronoun "he" and its derivatives are used of
any person whether male or female.
CHAPTER III - THE EXECUTIVE
Council of Ministers:
Subject to the provisions of this Act and subject also to the
provisions of the Rules for the Administration of the Manipur
State the Executive Authority of the State is delegated to and
shall vest in the Council of Ministers.
Where under this Act or the Rules for the Administration or
the State, it is requisite that the approval of the Maharajah
shall be taken to any measure, the Chief Minister shall seek
the approval of the Maharajah in
person or in writing and shall obtain the Maharajah's orders
thereon. Should in any case the Maharajah's approval be withheld,
the Maharajah shall be pleased to inform the Chief Minister
in person or in writing and to communicate his reasons for withholding
such approval in writing to the council.
The Council of Ministers shall consist of the Chief Minister
and six other Ministers.
The six Ministers on the Council shall be elected by the
State Assembly subject to the proviso that two of these Ministers
shall be representatives of the Hill people of the State elected
in such manner as shall be laid down in the Rules of Business
of the State Assembly.
The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Maharajah in consultation
with the elected Ministers on the Council.
The Chief Minister and Ministers shall receive letters of appointment
over the seal of Maharajah.
The Chief Minister in consultation with the Ministers shall
The Chief Ministers shall be the President of the Council and the
Vice-President shall be appointed by the Council.
The Council of Ministers shall have a common seal and shall be
jointly responsible to the Maharajah for the administration of the
The Council of Ministers and the Ministers individually shall exercise
such powers and functions as may be assigned to them by or under
this Act or by or under the Rules for the Administration of the
The quorum necessary for the transaction of business at a meeting
of the Council shall not be less than three excluding the President.
The Chief Minister and Ministers shall, on taking Office, swear
an oath of loyalty and allegiance to the Maharajah in the following
"I (Name of Minister) having been appointed as a Member of
the Manipur State Council, do solemnly swear that I will be loyal
and faithful and bear true allegiance to the Maharajah, his heirs
and successors and that I will faithfully discharge the duties laid
on me under this Act."
A Minister of the Council shall not be removable from office except
in accordance with the provisions of the Chapter IV below.
CHAPTER IV - THE STATE ASSEMBLY
There shall be constituted a State Assembly. The Assembly shall
be elected for a period of three years and shall comprise Representatives
freely elected by the people on an adult franchise and on the principle
of Joint Electorate. Elections shall be in such manner and by such
franchise as may be laid down under the Rules for the elections
to the State Assembly provided always that the Representatives returnable
from General, Hill and Mahamadan Constituencies shall be in the
ratios of 30:18:3 respectively with an additional two seats for
the Representatives of educational and commercial interests.
The State Assembly may debate all matters concerning the Government
and well being of the State which, in the opinion of five Members
of the Assembly, it is in the public interest to debate. The Assembly
shall tender such advice to the Council of Ministers in any matter
in which a majority of the Members present, are agreed on the advice
which shall be tendered provided that no matter touching the Maharajah's
Prerogative shall be debated and provided that the Maharajah may
on the advice of the Council, veto debate on may matter where such
course shall in the public interest be necessary.
The State Assembly shall not tender advice to the Council on any
matter which is of primary concern to the Hill people unless such
advice has the support of a majority of the Hill Representatives
in the Assembly.
Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Assembly may make rules
for regulating its proceedings and the conduct of Business.
Where in any case it is required to pass a veto of no confidence
against a Minister of the Council for his individual acts, a motion
of no confidence, signed by not less than ten Members of the Assembly
and laying out in detail, the facts giving rise to the motion, may
with the permission of the Speaker of the Assembly be moved. If
such motion shall receive the support of at least 75% of the Members
present and voting, it shall be forwarded through the Chief Minister
to the Maharajah, who, unless there appear strong and valid reasons
to the contrary which shall be recorded in writing, shall after
consultation with the Chief Minister require the Minister against
whom the motion has been passed to resign.
Wherein any case the State Council or the Maharajah is in the special
circumstances of any case, unable to accept the advice of the Assembly,
the Maharajah or the Council as the case may be, shall communicate
in writing the reasons which have led to such course and shall give
facilities for personal discussion of the matter with a representative
or representatives deputed by the Assembly.
Subject to the provisions of this Act and the Rules framed under
it for the disposal of the Assembly business, there shall be Freedom
of Speech in the Assembly and no member shall be liable to any proceedings
in any court in respect of any speech or vote given by him in the
Assembly or a committee thereof and no person shall be liable in
respect of any publication by or under the authority of the Assembly
of any report, paper, vote or proceedings.
No member of the Assembly shall be liable to arrest or detention
in prison under a Civil process :
If he is a member of the Assembly, during the continuance of
If he is a member of any committee of the Assembly,
during the continuance of the meeting of the Committee.
The elected Ministers, the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and members
of the Assembly shall receive such emoluments as may be determined
from time to time by the Assembly.
CHAPTER V - THE LAW MAKING AUTHORITY
The Law Making Authority in the State shall consist of the Maharajah
in Council in collaboration with the State Assembly acting under
Section 18, above.
When the Council or the Assembly consider that a law should be
enacted the Council shall cause a Bill to be drafted, which shall
be laid before the Assembly and a reasonable time shall be given
for consideration thereof. The Council shall then cause to be made
such alternations or amendments as may be deemed necessary in the
light of the advice tendered by the Assembly and the Chief Minister
shall submit the Bill in its final form for the assent of the Maharajah.
On the receipt of the Maharajah's Assent the Bill shall be published
in the State Gazette and shall become an Act having the force of
Should the Maharajah in any case with his Assent to a Bill, that
Bill shall lapse as if it had not been passed. If the Assent of
the Maharajah is not forthcoming with one calendar month of the
Bill being submitted to him he shall be deemed to have with held
Where the Assent of the Maharajah to any Bill is withheld, the
Council may cause the same Bill to be introduced in the next session
of the Assembly and if passed without amendment by a 75% majority
of the Assembly, the Bill shall be certified over the Seal of the
Council and shall become law.
Nothing in this Chapter shall be deemed to derogate from the absolute
right of the Maharajah in Council to promulgate, in emergency cases,
orders having the force of law without previous reference to the
Assembly where the public interest in their opinion demands that
such order shall be promulgated provided that the first opportunity
shall be taken of laying the order before the Assembly for consideration.
Any such order shall not have the force of law for period of more
than six months.
CHAPTER VI - FINANCE
The Revenue of the State and such other receipts as may accrue
from whatever source, less such reasonable percentage of the total
real Revenue as may be reserved for the Civil List, are placed at
the disposal of the Council for expenditure on the Government of
the State in the manner prescribed by State Account Rules saving
that in every year a sum representing not less than 17% of the average
real revenue of the State for the preceding three years shall be
allocated for expenditure on the welfare and administration of the
The Minister in charge of Finance shall prepare an Annual Budget
showing the estimated receipts and expenditure for the ensuing year
classified under the prescribed heads of account and shall submit
it to that Assembly within fifteen days of its meeting for the Budget
session along with a statement of account for the previous year.
The Assembly shall after considering the Budget, submit it with
their recommendation to the Council, who, having made such modifications
may be deemed necessary shall submit it to the Maharajah for approval.
Where any delay occurs in the granting of Assent to the Budget by
the Maharajah and were such Assent has not been obtained by the
first day of the financial year, provisional effect should be given
to the Budget as passed by the Assembly and funds shall be drawn
against its provision as if it had received Assent.
The Maharajah's Civil List shall be fixed at a figure equal to
10% of the real revenues of the State over the preceding three years,
provided that no extraordinary revenues shall be taken into account
when determining this amount and provided that no State revenue
in excess of Rupees twenty lakhs shall be taken into account in
any one year. The appropriations to the Maharajah's Civil List shall
be non-votable and shall not be the subject of debate in the Assembly.
No tax whatsoever shall be shown in the budget and no tax shall
be collected by any officer of the State or by any person unless
such tax has been imposed by due process of Law.
There shall be a State Auditor who shall be appointed by the
Maharajah in Council on a nomination to be made by the Comptroller
of Audit, Assam, or such other officer as may be deemed suitable.
Such nominee shall be employed on contract for a period of not
less than five years and shall be removable only by the Maharajah
in Council in consultation with the authority making the nomination.
The conditions of Service of the State Auditor shall be such
as may be prescribed by the Maharajah in Council provided always
that he shall not be eligible for any office of profit in the
State after his retirement.
The Auditor shall exercise such powers and perform such duties
as may be laid down in the State Account Rules.
CHAPTER VII - HILL PEOPLE
The Council shall be responsible for the welfare and the good administration
of the Hill people of the State and shall provide such funds for
this purpose as may, subject to the provision of Section 32 above,
be deemed necessary, provided that the local authorities in the
Hill shall exercise such powers of Local Self Government as may
be laid down in the Manipur State Hill (Administration) Regulation
CHAPTER VIII - THE SERVICES
The Council shall issue Rules regulating the Conditions of Service
in the Departments of the State.
A Manipur State Appointments Board shall be constituted and the
Council shall issue Rules regulating the constitution, functions
and procedure of the Board. The Board shall consist of not less
than three members, one of whom must be a Hillman and a Chairman
and shall be final authority in all matters connected with appointments
and promotions to the State Service except in so far as specific
powers may be reserved under this Act or the Rules for the Administration
of the State.
CHAPTER IX - THE JUDICATURE
There shall be a complete separation of the Judiciary from
The judicature of the State shall
be as laid down in the Manipur State Courts Act, 1947.
The Chief Justice of the State and two Puisne Judges shall be appointed
by the Maharajah in Council under the Royal Seal and shall hold
office until the age of 65 years provided that :-
A Judge may resign his office.
(b) A Judge may be removed from his office by the Maharajah
in Council only on the grounds of misbehaviour of infirmity
of body or mind.
A person shall not be appointed as a Judge of the Chief Court unless
be a graduate in law and has held Judicial
Office at least for five years, or
is a barrister qualified in England of five years' standing,
has for at least five years held Judicial Office in British
India in a post not inferior to that of a Subordinate
has for at least a period of ten years been a pleader of any
High Court or the Manipur Chief Court, or
be a person recognised as having a special capacity for the
exercise of Judicial functions.
CHAPTER X - FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF CITIZENSHIP
All citizens shall be equal before the law. Titles and other privileges
of birth shall not be recognised in the eyes of law.
The liberty of the individual shall be guaranteed. No person may
be subjected to any judicial interrogation or placed under arrest
or be in any other way deprived of his liberty, save as provided
No person shall be tried save by a competent Court.
No person may be tried except by a competent Court who shall give
full opportunity to such person to defend himself by all means.
All penalties shall be as determined by law.
Capital punishment may not be inflicted for purely political crimes.
No citizen may be banished from the State, expelled from one part
of the country to another, and obliged to reside in a specific place
save in such cases may be expressly determined by law.
Every dwelling shall be inviolable save under express provision
There shall be guaranteed to all people justice, social, economic
and political; equality of status, of opportunity and before the
law; freedom of thought, expression of belief, faith, worship, vocation,
association, and action, subject to law and public morality.
The practice of Arts and Sciences shall be unrestricted and shall
enjoy the protection and support of the State.
Without any prejudice to the communities concerned, public institutions
shall be opened to all citizens of the State.
All officials of the State or of a local Government shall be
answerable beforethe law for their individual and unlawful actions.
Where damage is caused to an individual by the act of an official
of the State or an official of a Local Government, such an individual
may sue the State before the Chief Court and may seek redress
save where such damage has been caused by a bonafide act of
a State servant in pursuance of a policy duly laid down by a
CHAPTER XI - GENERAL CLAUSES
Any provision of this Act may be subject to amendment by the Maharajah
in Council provided that such amendment is laid before the Assembly
and receive the support of at least 80% of the members of the State
Assembly present and voting, when such amendment is debated.
Where in any case circumstances arise which prevent the proper
operation in law or in spirit of this Constitution Act, the Council
may at their discretion refer the matter for decision to such authority
outside the State as may be decided hereafter and the decision of
that authority shall be binding.
The Court language of the State shall be Manipuri or English.
Bodh Chandra Singh
MAHARAJAH OF MANIPUR.