Manipur remains as a Kingdom from the beginning of 33 A.D. until it became a protected princely State of the British Government. As a protected State, the State remained with internal sovereignty under the suzerainty and crown paramountcy. It continues as a Constitution State since then 1947 A.D. till today. Manipur is a Monarchy, a princely State, and now a constitutional democratic Monarchy.
The Princely State of Manipur and the British have share history in a timeline manner from the beginning of 1762 A.D. until the end of the direct political relationship between the Crown and protected State of Manipur 14 August 1947. On 14 August 1947, the paramountcy transferred to the Manipur State Council by the bilateral political agreement made between the Agent to the Crown Representative and Manipur State Darbar on 1 July 1947 and another agreement between His Majesty’s Representative and His Highness the Maharaja of Manipur on 2 July 1947. The Crown paramountcy was in operation in India and Manipur up to the end of 14 August 1947. The operation of paramountcy ends in India and Manipur as ceasing the Government of India Act 1935 in India since enforcing and operating the Indian Independence Act 1947 in India on 15 August 1947. India- Empire of India ruled by the British up to 14 August 1947 under the Government of India Act 1935.
The Manipur State was a tributary and protected State of the British Government, and the State enjoyed favor and protection of the British Government, which is a His Majesty’s Government and a supreme Government up to the lapses of paramountcy over the State on the day of 15 August 1947. The relationship between the Manipur State and Crown was a political relationship and an extra-constitutional relationship.
Manipur and the British established a friendly trade relationship by singing a treaty known as the Anglo-Manipur Treaty on 14 September 1762.
About 128 years of friendly relationship with the British end when war broke out between the British and Manipur, popularly known as the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891. Manipur defeated in this declared war, British conquered Manipur but did not annex Manipur to the British-British Empire. Manipur remained as a State with internal sovereignty, and the status of the Statehood was not ending. The Foreign Department of the Government of India declared that Manipur State is forfeited to the Crown; the Kingdom [State] was also sentenced to pay a fine of Rs.2 50,000 and an annual penalty Rs.50 000 as war compensation. Manipur State pays the annual tribute of Rs. 50,000 as war compensation to the British Government until His Majesty R.I. George VI [Albert Frederick Arthur George] has announced on 8 October 1945 that “In recognition of your Highness’s and your people’s services towards allies’ victory, the tribute of Rs. 50,000 payables by His Highness since 1891 is remitted perpetuity forthwith”. The relationship between the Manipur State and Crown was a political relationship and an extra-constitutional relationship.
Her Majesty’s had graciously assented to re-establish of a native rule State. The Princely State of Manipur as an Indian State was ruled with internal sovereignty by the native King of Manipur by introducing the codified Rules for the Management of the State of Manipur since 14 September 1935 under suzerainty and paramountcy of the Crown. The paramount power is not in a written document; therefore, it is in the abstract form of power of the Crown. Paramountcy thus serious incursions in the internal sovereignty of the State, it was natural that Rulers to seek the political practices in codification to rule the State. F.F. Pearson was the President of the Manipur State Darbar, now the Manipur State Council, who is a British Army Officer, and G.P. Stewart remained as a Political Agent in Manipur until Manipur got independence from the British on 14 August 1947. The Political Agent was subordinated to the Agent to Crown Representative and His Majesty’s Representative, who was the Governor of Assam. The State [Manipur State] and the Maharaja/King of Manipur and his successor enjoyed favour and protection of the British Government, which is a supreme Government up to the end of 14 August 1947. The systems of the relationship between the State of Manipur, which is an Indian State and the British Government depend entirely on the will and pleasure of the conqueror until lapses the paramountcy over the State on the day of 15 August 1947.
Manipur experienced the Second World War; it was the last battlefield fight between the British forces and Japanese forces properly known as Battle of Imphal 1944. World War II was characterized as a war of democracy against dictatorship. With the end of the Second World War on 3 September 1945, the United Nations Organization established on 24 October 1945 for maintaining peace and security in the world. Britain, as a founder member of the UNO, respects the purposes and principals of the Charter of the United Nations Organization. With the establishment of the UNO, the British Government has a consideration to left India-Empire of India and freed British India as an independent India. After the Labour Party had come in power in England on February 19, 1946, it immediately announced that a mission of three Cabinet Ministers would be sent to India. At the initiative of Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom sent a statutory mission in March 1946 in India consisted of Lord Patrick Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade, and A. V. Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty. However, Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, did not participate. The three Cabinet Ministers team arrived in India on 23 March 1946. The Cabinet Mission Memorandum on States’ Treaties and Paramountcy presented by the Cabinet Mission to His Highness the Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes in India on 12 May 1946, and the same was accepted by the Chamber. The General Conference of the Rulers of Indian States held on 26 January 1947 accepted the Memorandum of 12 May 1946. The Cabinet Mission Plan also announced on 16 May 1946, and it was also accepted by the political leaders of British India [India] and the Chamber of Princes. The Mountbatten Plan of 3 June 1947 also accepted by the leaders of British India.
Mountbatten Plan or His Majesty’s Government Statement of 3 June 1947, decisions announced that the policy towards the Indian States contained in the Cabinet Mission Memorandum of 12 May 1946, remained unchanged.
In the Cabinet Mission Memorandum provided that His Majesty’s Government will cease to exercise the powers of paramountcy, it means that the rights of the States which flow from their relationship to the Crown will no longer exist and that all the rights surrendered by the States to the paramount power will return to the States. The political arrangements between the States on the one side and the British Crown and British India on the other will thus be brought to an end. The void will have to be filled either by the States entering into a federal relationship with the successor Government or Governments in British India, or failing this, entering into particular political arrangements with it or them.
As accepted the Cabinet Mission Memorandum of 12 May 1946 by the Chamber of Princes and political leaders of the Parties in British India, the authorities of the His Majesty’s Government initiated to process for a special political arrangement for the Princely State of Manipur. In the meantime, Manipur State has occurred recognition of special position as declared as an excluded area by Order in Council by His Majesty on 27 December 1946. The Manipur State was not remaining as part of India [Indian Empire] since it excluded it from India [Indian Empire]. As an excluded area, the administration of the Manipur State does not remain in India-Empire of India. The whole territory of Manipur as recorded 8700 sq. miles in the area demarcated and delineated in the map of the Survey of India when the Manipur State excluded from the India [Indian Empire] under Section 91(2) (a) and (c) of the Government of India Act 1935.
Without further delay, His Highness the Maharaja Bodhchandra, as a sovereign authority, enacted the codified Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 on 1January 1947 for the governance of the State. Sovereign is the sources of law. The Manipur State immediately constituted and created by Section 9 (a) of the Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 and clearly define that 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. It may be referring that laws are not created by the State, but it is the laws that create the State, and every State that ever existed has had a constitution of some kind. It means that there can be no State without the constitution. One constitution creates one State. As a sovereign authority, His Highness the Maharaja Bodhchandra further promulgated the codified Manipur State Administration Rules 1947 on 1 July 1947 for the administration of the State. The Manipur State Administration Rules 1947 provided a provision that “in the suppression of all the previous orders on this subject”, His Highness the Maharaja of Manipur had been pleased to promulgate the following rules for the administration of the Manipur State” and at Rule 1 significantly provided a provision that “the Rule comes into force from 1 July 1947 and shall override all previous rules”.
As guided by the political policy and the memorandum, the Excluded State, Manipur State, entered two bilateral political agreements with India-Empire of India on 1st and 2nd July 1947 prior to assent the Indian Independence Act 1947 by His Majesty on 18 July 1947 while the Crown paramountcy was in operation in the State of Manipur and India. It is an international agreement made between the two Monarchal Governments and between two sovereign States and nations. Each State deals with other States in international matter. The interim Government of India and His Majesty’s Government recognized the Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 and Manipur State Administration Rules 1947 by virtue of the Agreement of 1 July 1947 made between His Excellency Governor of Assam, who is an Agent to the Crown Representative and a representative of the Government of India [Government of India by the Crown] with the Manipur State Darbar [Government of Manipur] and further the agreement of 2 July 1947 made between two sovereigns as head of the States by His Highness the Maharaja of Manipur and by His Excellency the Governor of Assam as a His Majesty’s Representative. The Crown paramountcy naturally transferred to the Manipur State Council by virtue of the political agreement of 1 July and 2 July 1947. Under such circumstances and reasons, the bilateral agreements were not signed by the Governor of Assam, who is representing as an Agent to the Crown Representative and as a His Majesty’s Representative because everything got in codification from the Crown paramountcy. The political relationship between the two Monarchical Governments, Government of India by the Crown [Government of India] and Manipur State Darbar [Government of Manipur], has been established since the day of 1 July 1947 by singing the bilateral political agreement by the head of the Governments. The political relationship between the two Monarchic States of India-Empire of India and Manipur [State of Manipur] has also been sharing the external sovereignty of the State of Manipur from the day of 2 July 1947 by singing the bilateral political agreement by the sovereigns as head of the States. The external sovereignty of the State can share with other State, but the internal sovereignty of the State or State sovereignty can not share. As a legal document, it is legally enforceable between the two States.
A kind of legal and political protection is also signified and provided in the agreement for the future of the State [Excluded State] by transferring the Crown paramountcy to the Manipur State Council. In the political agreement of 2 July 1947, provided an Article or provision that Without prejudice to whatever Agreement or Treaty may in due course be arrived at between the Manipur State and Union Government and till such time as an agreement or treaty is reached with the Union Government after the new State Constitution is introduced His Highness the Maharaja in Council agrees.
The administration of the State smoothly, orderly, legally, and constitutionally was taken over by the constitutional authority of the constitution State as well as the political transition was taking place from the British Crown to the people of Manipur by enacting the Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 and by promulgating the Manipur State Administration Rules 1947 by His Highness as a sovereign authority while Crown paramountcy was in operation in the State. The suzerainty of the Crown over the Manipur State lapses on the day, and with it, all treaties, agreements, orders, and Rules are also lapsing on the day of 1 July 1947. With the enforcement of the Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 on 2 January 1947 and the introduction of the Manipur State Administration Rules 1947 in the State on 1 July 1947 by the bilateral agreement of 2 July 1947, the absolute Monarchy system ended in the State on the day of 30 June 1947.
In the meantime, an interim Council is formed in the State under the Manipur State Administration Rules 1947, the British Army Officer F.F. Pearson, who is the President of Manipur State Darbar, was known as Chief Minister of the interim Council from the day of 15 July 1947 up to the end of the day of 13 August 1947 according to the Agreement of 1 July 1947. Further, by order of His Highness vide Order No. 779-810 of 28.7.1947, the Manipur State Council headed by M.K.Priya Brata formed on 14 August 1947 as well as F.F. Pearson, the British Chief Minister of the interim Council, handed over the power and paramountcy of the Crown to the Chief Minister M.K.Priya Brata who is a native of Manipur on 14 August 1947 at 8.00 am. His Highness the Maharaja of Manipur, hosted the State flag at Kangla, where the heredity Palace of Manipur, on 14 August 1947 at 8.00 am. The independence of Manipur rightly achieved on the day of 14 August 1947. The Independence of Manipur gained or got from the British Crown and United Kingdom on 14 August 1947 by bilateral agreement. Capt. M.K. Priya Brata Singh was the Chief Minister of the Manipur State Council up to the day a constitutional Government is formed in the State on the day of 27 November 1948. The Political Agent in Manipur G.P. Stewart has reverted the British Reserve in Manipur by an order to the State authorities except the whole area known as Cantonments, the Babupara area and compounds of the Residency and Political Agent’s Office at midnight of 14 August 1947, and he declared now paramountcy lapses over the Manipur State in the presence of His Highness the Maharaja of Manipur at Residency and Political Agent’s Office at the midnight of 14 August 1947.
The first election of the Manipur State Assembly was held between 11 and 18 June 1948 in Valley and 26 and 27 July 1948 in Hills, as well as inaugurated a constitutional and democratic form of Government in the State on 27 November1948 under her own State Constitution Act 1947. Since 27 November 1948, Manipur became a politically independent State, and a constitutional rule State is not ruling under the absolute monarchy system.
The transitional period in India [political arrangement] means the period beginning on the 15th of August 1947 and ending on the 31st of March 1948.
1949 A.D. – 1950 A.D.
In violation of Section 9(5) of the Indian Independence Act 1947, M.K.Vellodi, Joint Secretary to the Government of India had passed the Manipur (Administration) Order 1948 on 15 October 1949. The order clearly expressed that “as from 15 October 1949, the Ministers in Manipur State shall cease to function and the legislature of the State shall stand dissolved”, it is forcibly and arbitrarily dissolved the Manipur State Legislature and immediately prevented the spirit of the Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 which was introduced and inaugurated by the bilateral Agreements of the two sovereigns and the two monarchs. The constitutional Government of the State of Manipur illegally and fraudulently overthrown by order of the Government of India, which is an Indian Government, whereas the Dominion Government is a Central Government. The Joint Secretary to the Government of India had passed this order which has no authority of law to pass the order under section 9(5) of the Indian Independence Act 1947. These unlawful acts of the Indian Government show or appear that the authorities of the Indian Government illegally interfering in the political and constitutional arrangement made under the British laws and political policy of the British Government. In such an illegal process, the administration of Manipur State immediately has taken over by the Indian Army Officer Major General Rawal Amar Singh by passing order No. 0002/C.C. in October 1949 by the Office of the Chief Commissioner of Manipur. And further, in the violation of Section 9(5) of the Indian Independence Act 1947, the Indian Governor-General of the Dominion of India C. Rajagopalachari had passed the States’ Merger (Chief Commissioners’ Provinces) Order 1950 on 22 January 1950. An independent political State of Manipur illegally and forcibly annexed to India by order of the Indian Governor-General of the Dominion of India who has no authority of law to pass the order under section 9(5) of the Indian Independence Act 1947. In violation of section 1(3) of India (Consequential Provision) Act 1949, the excluded State of Manipur included in India without the revocation of the Order in Council of His Majesty of 27 December 1946.
By breaching the bilateral agreement of 1 and 2 July 1947, the territory of Manipur has been illegally annexed to India and Manipur occupying by Indian since 22 J anuary 1950. It is a great threat to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the p olitical independence State of Manipur.
With finding every political, constitutional and legal fact and virtual reasons, and consideration into the limitation of powers and duties of the Indian Government and C. Rajagopalachari the Governor-General of the Dominion of India, everyone is subject to law, and in the purpose of United Nations and International Law, the formation of Manipur State Council which is a de jure Government by the State authority under the Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 and under the Manipur State Administration Rules 1947 was the immediate step for upholding, preserving and safeguarding the sovereignty of the State and political rights and human rights of the people of Manipur, and by exercising the constitutional authority by the Manipur State Council can refer the constitutional matter of the Manipur State to His Majesty or His Majesty in Council for restoration of her de facto sovereignty from the hands of the Indian Government, therefore, the Manipur State Council formed on 14 March 2012 under the Manipur State Administration Rules 1947 for the administration of Manipur State. It is also a fact that the State cannot and does not exist without a government, no matter what form a government may assume. The illegal orders of the Indian Government and the Governor-General of the Dominion have been dismissed and rejected by a resolution of the Manipur State Council, as the sovereign gave the order and received orders from none, States are equal, and sovereigns are equal. Under the principle of sovereignty equality of States, each State is independent of other States, and they are equal sovereign States. We have our political system to rule the Manipur State. Our constitution is the supreme authority for the governance and administration of the State. Our constitution gives liberty, authority and power for the governance of the State of Manipur. The codified Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 enacted by His Highness the Maharaja Bodhchandra as a sovereign authority on 1 January 1947 while Crown paramountcy was in operation in Manipur State and India. It is also a fact that the de jure Government is a legitimate Government in the eyes of international law, and it is known to the lawyer. Manipur State Council is His Highness’s Government. We are the Ministers of His Highness. The Chief Minister is the Chief Executive of the State. We, the Ministers of the de jure Government of Manipur, has the constitutional authority and responsibility to bring peace, security and progress in my Country as well as, we immediately needed a constitutional Government to be formed under Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 for the governance of my princely State. It is our political and constitutional right, birthrights and legitimate lights.
We, therefore, unilaterally declared the independence of Manipur from India by forming the Manipur State Council on 14 March 2012 in Manipur, and further, we immediately made a formal announcement of this deceleration before international media in London on 29 October 2019 at 2.00 pm (GST) to reach out the message of the independence of Manipur to all the sovereign countries or States of the members of the United Nations. It is the legal duties, legal responsibilities, and legal rights of the people of Manipur. Our unilateral declaration and de jure government connect with the spirit of the State Constitution Act 1947, and the State Administration Rules 1947 of the Manipur State and international laws and UN Charters. It is also a fact that the government can change, and the government can be replaced by others as practices.
Accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo:
“The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has concluded that the adoption of the declaration of independence of 17 February 2008 did not violate general international law, Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) or the constitutional framework. Consequently, the adoption of that declaration did not violate any applicable rule of international law.”
In the case of Kosovo independence declaration, Mr. President, Members of the Court, it was argued that the absence of reaction of the Security Council after independence was declared could be interpreted as an acknowledgement from the part of the Council -or the international community in general- that secession did not breach any international law rules.
Let us look at the sources of international law enumerated in Article 38 (2). No one has said that Kosovo’s Declaration is prohibited by a particular treaty, comparable to the Cyprus Treaty of Guarantee which forbids separation of any part of Cyprus. So that source of law is not at issue. To conclude, there is no basis for asserting a new rule of international law prohibiting declarations of independence as such. United Nations Permanent Court of Justice decided that “there is nothing in international law that prohibits the declaration of independence.”
According to International law, even though a State and its territory are often seen as synonymous, a State exists only in law. It must, therefore, act through its government. One must not confuse recognition of the States with that of governments. In itself, a change of government does not affect the State. Even when the change has been brought about by unconstitutional or violent means, the legal personality of the State is unaffected (as are treaties to which the State is bound). The State has inherent authority in itself. The question of recognition of a government arises only when it has come to power unconstitutionally.