The Government of Tamil Nadu is all set to ban the Sri Lankan nationals from stepping into the state in future, and the Chief Minister of the state has already written a letter to the prime Minister stating the intent, says the recent report.
The letter is basically to communicate the pronouncement of the ‘ban’ of Sri Lankan cricketers, spokespersons, support staff, and other officials from taking part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Chennai.
According to the justification given by the Government of Tamil Nadu in support of the proposed ban, the presence of Sri Lankan people would have exaggerated the situation in the State which has already been surcharged, and, have influenced the rule and regulations seemingly. In such a circumstance, the State Government believes that it is high time for the Police Commissioner of Chennai to invoke the prohibition order rules under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
However, the action taken by the Tamil Nadu Government contradicts the distribution of power between the States as well as the Unions considered in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, and that is why the scenario is going to be complicated enough in the next few months.
Regulation of the entry of outsiders in India is basically the concern of the Union Government. In certain special cases, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) can use this exclusive power too. If the Government of a specific State has apprehensions about the fact, the MHA should be engaged in it. The sole decision should also be taken by the MHA, and the State Government cannot refuse to follow the verdict accordingly. Hence, allowing the Government of Tamil Nadu to continue with its proposal would result into the reconsideration of the division of powers.
On the other hand, a ‘blanket ban’ on all Sri Lankans turns the issue into a bigger one. It does not any more remain about the law of entry of foreigners. As the proposal has completely been made based on the nationality of the Lankans, it becomes more than a foreign affair. If the Central Government of India grants the suggestion, the India-Sri Lanka relationship would get affected to a great extent. In such a situation, only the Union Government can take the final decision, as the Indian Constitution does not authorize different States of the country to work out their own foreign affairs policies.
Nonetheless, the justification provided by the Tamil Nadu Government does not have legitimate grounds. If all the Constitutional laws and orders are taken into account, the State cannot refuse to permit the Sri Lankan players to enter. However, it is time to wait and watch what steps the Central Government of India takes in response to the letter.