Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on Monday said his government will file a review petition in the Supreme Court with a prayer for rectification of its "inadvertent mention of the Sikkimese Nepali community as foreigners" in an order two weeks ago.
"Let me reiterate and reassure that no injustice will be meted out to anyone with regard to the inadvertent mention of Sikkimese Nepali Community as foreigners in the observation part and not in the judgment part of the verdict of Hon'ble Apex Court in the matter of income tax exemption for the old settlers of Sikkim," he said in a social media post.
"I express my solidarity not only with Sikkimese Nepali Community but with all the communities of our dear state. We all are one, and will always remain united," Tamang said.
The state government has already initiated steps for filing the review petition for addressing the concerns of the Sikkimese Nepali community, the chief minister said.
Tamang said he has already spoken to Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and the latter has assured that the Government of India will support the review petition of the Government of Sikkim, and if required will file a review petition itself as well on similar lines.
Tamang appealed to all people to be patient and keep faith in the judiciary. It is just a matter of time that this issue will be addressed for the good of one and all, he said.
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The Supreme Court in its order dated January 13, 2023, had directed the Centre to amend the definition of 'Sikkimese' in Section 10 (26AAA) of Income Tax Act 1961 for including income tax exemption to all Indian citizens domiciled in Sikkim on or before the merger date of April 26, 1975.
"The Union of India shall make an amendment to Explanation to Section 10 (26AAA) of IT Act, 1961, so as to suitably include a clause to extend the exemption from payment of income tax to all Indian citizens domiciled in Sikkim on or before 26th April, 1975.
"The reason for such a direction is to save explanation from unconstitutionality and to ensure parity in the facts and circumstances of the case," said the apex court while disposing of two writ petitions filed by Association of Old Settlers of Sikkim (AOSS) and others with a prayer for grant of income tax exemption at par with the Sikkimese people as given under Section 10 (26AAA) of IT Act following an amendment in 2008 by the Parliament.
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