Union Cabinet approves Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill, on Land Boundary Agreement between India & Bangladesh

The Union Cabinet has approved Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill on Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) between India & Bangladesh.

Decision in this regard was taken in Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

The Bill seeks to operationalize the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh by exchanging several enclaves located along the common border of both nations.

The territories involved in the exchange are located in the North eastern states of Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura.

This Constitutional Amendment Bill in order to come in effect needs to be passed by Parliament and also needs to be ratified by at least 50 per cent of the state legislatures.

Background

  • The Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill, 2013 aims to ratify the LBA between India and Bangladesh under the Indira-Mujib pact of 1974 to exchange areas and people on either side of the border.
  • The pact was signed on 16 May 1974 between both nations, soon after the independence of Bangladesh in order to find a solution to the complex nature of border demarcation.
  • This pact was ratified by Bangladesh government in 1974. In 1974, Union Cabinet had granted approval to this pact but was not ratified as it involved cession of territory.
  • In 2013 bill in regard was introduced Rajya Sabha and was subsequently referred to a select committee headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor for recommendations. The committee had unanimously recommended implementation of the LBA.

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