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Punchhi Commission Recommendations and Potential Solutions for Manipur Crisis

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Polity – Centre-State Relations


Source: IE

 Context: The recent crisis in Manipur has sparked renewed interest in the Punchhi Commission Recommendations, which offer potential solutions for effectively managing such situations.


About Punchhi Commission:

  • The government constituted the Second Commission on Interstate Relations under the chairmanship of Justice (retired) Madan Mohan Punchhi, former Chief Justice of India along with other eminent persons in 2007.
  • The Commission set up eight task forces to examine the Centre-state relations in depth. Their Fifth Task Force studied criminal justice, national security and Centre-state cooperation.
  • The Commission submitted its report in 2010, but the government could not introduce constitutional changes recommended by the Punchhi Commission.
Feasibility of legislation under Article 355Examined the possibility of enacting supporting legislation under Article 355 to enable the suo motu deployment of Central forces in states when the situation demands.
Localised Emergency provisions under Article 355Recommended the adoption of “Localised Emergency provisions” under Article 355, allowing the imposition of Central rule in a limited affected area of a state, such as a municipality or a district, while the rest of the elected state government continues undisturbed.
The time limit for Central rule under Article 355Proposed that the Central rule in a limited affected area should not extend beyond three months.
Amendments to the Communal Violence BillSuggested amendments to the Communal Violence Bill to include provisions that state consent should not hinder the deployment of Central forces in serious communal riots. However, the deployment should be limited to one week, with post-facto consent obtained from the state.
A historical example of countering insurgencyCited the example of countering the Telangana insurgency in 1950, where the entire administration, including law and order, of a portion of the state was given to the Central Intelligence Bureau with a mandate to eliminate insurgents within six months.


Significance of these recommendations:

  • The implementation of these recommendations could have potentially allowed the Centre to take over the administration of specific areas in Manipur without disrupting the elected government.



If these recommendations had been codified through constitutional amendments, they could have provided a political solution to the ongoing conflicts in Manipur and other regions, allowing for more effective management of such situations.


Insta Links:

Issues in Manipur


Mains Link: UPSC 2020 

What are the determinants of left-wing extremism in the Eastern part of India? What strategy should the Government of India, civil administration and security forces adopt to counter the threat in the affected areas? (Answer in 250 words)