Lai Autonomous District Council

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Lai Autonomous District Council (LADC) is one of the three Autonomous District Councils in Mizoram state in North-east India. It is an Autonomous District Council for ethnic Lai people earlier known as Pawi, living in South-eastern Mizoram bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh. The L.A.D.C. has its headquarters at Lawngtlai town, which is the District Capital of Lawngtlai District. Lawngtlai District has a population of 75,477 persons according to Mizoram Statistical Handbook 2003.

The other two Autonomous District Councils in Mizoram are Mara Autonomous District Council (MADC) to the south and Chakma Autonomous District Council to the west. Thus the three ADCs filled one third of Mizoram in the southern part of the state.


The Lai Autonomous District Council occupies a strategic position in Mizoram, in the southernmost corner of the state. It shares a political border with Burma and MADC, the west by CADC, in the north Lunglei Administrative District and in the south by Burma. The Lai Autonomous District Council covers an area of 1,870.75 square kilometres (722.30 sq mi) with a population of 73,620 as on April 2008, and its density is 39 persons per square kilimetre. The entire population belongs to Schedule Tribes.


The Lai Autonomous District Council was constituted on 29 April 1972 under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India. The council is a replication of the State Legislative Assembly. It exercises power over specifically allocated subjects. At present it looks after 18 subjects departments. The Lai Autonomous District Council has also the power to determine language and in the manner in which education should be imparted in the Primary Schools within its jurisdiction. The council has a separate set of laws governing the area, it has the power to make laws as provided under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India. The people of Lai Autonomous District Council area enjoyed special safeguard granted by Article 371-9 of the Constitution of India. The headquarters of the council is situated at Lawngtlai which is also the headquarters of Lawngtlai Administrative District. It is well connected by the NH-54 and is 296 kilometres (184 mi) from the state capital Aizawl.


The Lai Assembly of the Lai Autonomous District Council has a total strength of 27 Members, out of which 23 are directly elected by the people and 4 members are nominated by the Governor on the recommendation of the Chief Executive Member of the Lai Autonomous District Council. The power and functions of the Council is mainly three viz., Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary. It has a chairman to conduct the business of the Council in session and presided over its meeting. The executive functions of the Council are vested in the Executive Committee headed by the Chief Executive Member. The Executive Committee can dispose of all matters falling within its purview. Each Member of the executive is allocated specifies subject for which a member of the committee is collectively responsible for all executive orders issued in the name of Council.


The main occupation of the people of Lai Autonomous District Council is Agriculture (the backbone of its economy) having Rice as its staple food, other crops like ginger, sesame, banana, chili, tilt, pine-apple, orange, mango, etc. are also cultivated. The Council also possesses rich natural resources of self-generating bamboo forest as well as thick tropical forest. The highest mountain in the state of Mizoram known as ‘The Blue Mountain’ or ‘Phawngpi’ with its Phawngpi National Park and Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary are located within the Lai Autonomous District Council area. The peculiarity feature of these two places came to be known as ‘Vavu’ the state ‘Bird’ of Mizoram found only within the Phawngpui National Park with varieties of flora and fauna. Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary, the only Sanctuary in the State possessing elephant is also located within the Lai Autonomous District Council jurisdiction.

Rules, Regulations & Acts[edit]

1 The Lai Autonomous District (Constitution & Conduct of Business etc.) (Amendment) Act, 2003
2 The Lai Autonomous District (Land Holdings & Settlement) Rules, 2006
3 The Lai Autonomous District (Profession, Trades, Callings & Employment Taxation) (1st Amendment), Regulation 2004
4 The Lai Autonomous District (Revenue Assessment)n Regulation, 2004
5 The Lai Autonomous District (Profession, Trades, Callings & Employment Taxation) Rules 2002
6 Village Council Act, 1974
7 Village Council Election Rules 1981
8 The Lai Autonomous District Council (Town Committee) Rules 2005
9 Town Committee Act, 1974
10 Customary Laws in Pawi (LAI) Lakher Region
11 The Lai Autonomous District (Board of School Education) Rules 2001
12 Village School Board (Bye-laws) 2002
13 The Lai Autonomous District Council Motor Vehicles (Taxation) Regulation 2005
14 The Pawi Autonomous District Council, Forest Act, 1979
15 (Administration of Justice) Rules, 1974
16 The Lai Autonomous District Council (Passenger and Good Taxation) Regulation, 2003
17 The Lai Autonomous District (Tax on Entry of Vehicles into the Lai Autonomous District) Act, 2008
18 The Lai Autonomous District (Town Police Force) Act 2009
19 The LADC Allocation of Business Rules 2010
20 The LADC Transaction of Business Rules 2010

Brief History of Autonomous Districts[edit]

The Pawi-Lakher Regional Council[edit]

The Pawi –Lakher Regional Council (PLRC) was created under the provision of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, as a result of the demand for political autonomy by the Pawi and the Lakher, who inhabit the Southern part of Lushai Hills. It is worth noting that PLRC was the only Regional Council of its kind in India, established under the provision of Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India. With the upgradation of the Lushai Hills as Union Territory of Mizoram, the Mizo District Council was abolished. However, as the Pawi, the Lakher and the Chakma were not in favour of the abolition of the Regional Council, the PLRC was trifurcated into three Regional Councils, namely, the Pawi Regional Council(PRC), the Lakher Regional Council(LRC) and the Chakma Regional Council(CRC) on 2 April 1972 and the three Regional Councils were upgraded to the status of full-fledged Autonomous District Councils on 29 April 1972. Subsequently, the Pawi Autonomous District Council(PADC) was changed into the Lai Autonomous District Council(LADC) and the Lakher Autonomous District Council was changed into Mara Autonomous District Council(MADC) in 1988. As a matter of fact, PLRC was the root, from which, the present three Autonomous District Councils of Mizoram, viz. the LADC, MADC and the CADC, sprang up.

The then Pawi-Lakher Regional Council (PLRC) comprised all of the present Lai Autonomous District Council, Mara Autonomous District Council (MADC), and Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC). The PLRC also had international boundaries with Myanmar and Bangladesh. Beside the Pawi(Lai) and the Lakher (Mara), other tribes, namely Bawm, Tlanglau, Pang, Riang(Bru), and the Chakma, also inhabited the PLRC area. The PLRC covered all the Lakher inhabited areas within Mizoram due to its compactness as well as the ethnic identity consciousness of the Lakher. However, it could not include all the Pawi inhabited areas within Mizoram because of the scattered locations and the overwhelming influence of the Mizo Union over some Pawi villages. Pu Z. Hengmang, the then Advisory Committee Member of the Lushai Hills and the first President of the Pawi-Lakher Tribal Union (PLTU), has said he tried hard at least to include all the Pawi villages of the region but he was not successful in the face of strong resistance from the Mizo Union Leaders. Thus, Pawi-villages — Lungleng, Muallianpui, South Tawipui, Darzo, Thingfal, Mamte, Thlengang, South Vanlaiphai, North Tawipui, and Sairep — were included in the Lushai Hills District. After settling the boundary dispute and demarcating it, the PLRC Advisory Committee could not take any immediate decision for locating a headquarters but ultimately Saiha was selected to be the headquarters. But Lunglei was proposed to be used as the interim headquarters.

The PLRC was entrusted with law making powers as provided in paragraph 3 of the Sixth Schedule to the constitution of India. Legislative, Executive, Financial and Judicial functions. Accordingly, it was expected to uplift the tribal communities of the region in the domain of culture, custom, agriculture, health, village communications, and sanitation, economic and rural development. In this connection the PLRC had made various Acts, Rules and Regulations on the subjects assigned to it by the Sixth Schedule. The Pawi-Lakher Regional Council (PLRC) was the root from which the present 3 Autonomous District Councils of Mizoram evolved.

Formation of Lai Autonomous District Council[edit]

The Pawi Autonomous District Council (PADC) continued to be governed by the Interim Government till the conduct of District Council Election. In the interim period, the MRC’s of the then PLRC, namely L. Chinzah, U. Zathang, Arun Kumar Dewan and Lalchema continued as members and K. Sangchhum and B. Sangchema were nominated by the Administrator of Mizoram. It is also significant feature that, Members who were earlier designated of as Members of Regional Council(MRC), then came to be known as Member of District Council(MDC) with the upgradation of the Regional Council to the status of full-fledged Autonomous District Counci. In spite of being identified as Pawi in Mizoram, the Lai regarded the appellation "Pawi" as a derogatory term, as such; they never identified themselves as Pawi but Lai. So, the leaders of Lai began to fight and demand for abolition of the name ‘Pawi’ and wanted to change it into ‘Lai’. Thus, under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution (Amendment) Act,1988 of Indian Parliament (No.67 of 1988) and by Notification No.DCA/E/154/81/40.the name Pawi Autonomous District Council was changed into Lai Autonomous District Council (LADC) in 1988. However, the name of the tribe is still listed as Pawi in serial number 13 of the list of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes of Mizoram. The three Autonomous District Councils of Mizoram, viz, the Lai Autonomous District Council (LADC), the Mara Autonomous District Council(MADC), and the Chakma Autonomous District Council were under the administrative jurisdiction of Chhimtuipui revenue district till August 1998, and Chhimtuipui district was bifurcated into two new revenue district, namely, Chhimtuipui West District with headquarters at Lawngtlai and Chhimtuipui East District with headquarters at Saiha by the Govt. of Mizoram. The Chhimtuipui west district comprised the areas covered by the LADC and CADC excluding the areas under Sangau Assembly Constituency of the LADC. The Chhimtuipui East District comprised the remaining areas of the then undivided Chhimtuipui District covered by the MADC and areas under Sangau Assembly Constituency of the LADC. Later on, per General Administration Department Notification No.F.20016/2/99 dated 3 June 1999 of the Govt. of Mizoram, Chhimtuipui West District was changed into Lawngtlai District and the Chhimtuipui East District was also changed into Saiha District. As the Lai were not satisfied with the allocation of Sangau Block under the administrative jurisdiction of Saiha District, the winter session of the LADC on 4 December 2000, unanimously resolved to request the Govt. of Mizoram, to reallocate Sangau Block under the administrative jurisdiction of Lawngtlai District. As a measure for facilitating better administrative efficiency as well as fulfilling the wishes of the Lai people, the Govt. of Mizoram placed Sangau Block under the jurisdiction of Lawngtlai District since October 2005.

Administrative Area[edit]

The LADC is the largest geographical area among the three Autonomous District Councils of Mizoram. It is bounded by Lunglei District in the North, CADC in the West, MADC in the East and Myanmar in the South and North-East. The area of the present LADC is 1870.75 km2. forming two blocks such as Western Block (West of Kaladan River) and the Eastern-Block(East of the Kaladan River). It is mountainous region with narrow and deep river valleys, stretching between the rugged ranges, generally ranging from about 3000 to 5000 feet above sea level. It receives heavy rainfall during Monsoon, which amounts to 350 cm (131 inches) as annual rainfall. The summer temperature varies from 20 °C to 30 °C and the winter temperature varies from 8 °C to 18 °C. Winter is dry and moderately cold whereas summer is wet and warm. The highest mountain "Phawngpui or Blue Mountain" and the biggest River ‘Chhimtuipui or Bawinu or Kaladan" are located in LADC area.

The Headquarters of LADC is located at Lawngtlai since inception, Sub-Hqrs at Bualpui ‘Ng’ and Divisional Hqrs at Diltlang, Sangau, Vathuampui, Chawngte ‘p’ and Lungtian.

Working of Lai Autonomous District[edit]

As provided in paragraph 2(6) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, the Govt. of Mizoram had enacted the Mizoram Autonomous District Council (Constitution and Conduct of Business of the District Councils) Rules, 1974, which then became the guiding principles of governance for the three ADC’s of Mizoram. Further, the Government of Mizoram also created a separate department, in the Secretariat known as ‘District Council Affairs Department (DCA)’, to look after the affairs of the three ADC’s of Mizoram, and funds for the District Councils are channelised through this department. with the approval of the State Finance Department. As the Governor is the Executive Head of the State Govt. he/she also is the Executive Head of the various District Councils within the state. As provided in the Mizoram Autonomous District Council Constitution and Conduct of Business Rules, every district council, unless sooner dissolved shall continue for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting. The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman are elected from amongst the MDCs themselves and they are similar to the Speaker and the Dy. Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly. The District Council also has an Executive Committee which function is similar to Cabinet of the State Govt. The Chief Executive Member(CEM) is the Head of the Executive Committee and is elected by the MDCs from amongst themselves. The CEM also recommends certain MDCs for appointment as Executive Member (EM) to the Governor of Mizoram for his approval. The post of CEM and EMs are similar to the Chief Minister and Cabinet Ministers of the state Government respectively. Each Autonomous District Council has also two Secretaries, one for the Executive Committee, designated as Executive Secretary and the other for Legislature, designated as Legislative Secretary. The post of Executive Secretary is similar to Chief Secretary of the State Govt. and the Legislative Secretary is similar to Secretary, Assembly Secretariat of the state Govt. As provided in the Rules, the LADC also has Two Secretaries, such as Executive Secretary and Legislative Secretary or Secretary, LADC. The Executive Secretary is for the Executive Committee and he also functioned as Drawing and Disbursing Officer of the Council fund. Whereas the Legislative Secretary is in charge of the Legislative Department only, and all the necessary legislative dealings and files are under his control. He shall also see that four months shall not elapse in convening the Sessions of the LADC.

Administrative Structure[edit]

The Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India provides the ADC to enjoy vast legislative, executive and financial powers within their jurisdiction. In accordance with this provisions, the LADC too enacts various Acts, Rules and Regulations. The LADC looks after the 1870.75 km2 area of the autonomous District and the executive committee is efficiently assisted by Departmental Officers of the District Council in handling administration of the area. The LADC is also given nominal grant-in-aid every year for running the administration and also funds under plan for carrying out various developmental works. The main task of the council authority is to see that the Departmental Officers in their respective areas carry out all planned schemes effectively. Besides the Grant-in-Aid the LADC sources of income is composed of Land Revenue, taxes like house tax, taxes on professions, trade callings and employment, taxes on the entry of vehicle and entry of goods into the market for sale etc.

Three main structural organs of LADC The structural organisation of the LADC is broadly categorised into three main organs such as Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. The working of three organs in the form of the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary signify the autonomous powers of the District Council in exercising control over its administered area. It is an interesting feature that each of the three organs is allotted a separate Secretariat/building and each organ is headed by a separate Secretary LADC or Legislative Secretary for Legislative and Court President and Recorder for the Judiciary. Thus here lies the peculiarity of the Autonomous District Council as a bona fide constitutional body, armed with constitutional powers for protection of the ethnic customs, cultures, traditions, language and identity of the minorities.

Working of the Legislative Department As provided in rule no 15 of the Mizoram Autonomous District Council (Constitution Conduct of Business etc.) Rules, the post of Secretary, Lai Autonomous District Council was created in 1972. Accordingly, the appointing authority of the Secretary LADC or Legislative Secretary lies with the Chairman but not with the Executive Committee as provided in the same Rule. The Rule further says that the Secretary shall not be a member of the District Council. Thus, the Secretary as the administrative Head shall assist the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman in all legislative affairs and dealings of the LADC.

Functions of the Legislative Department The Legislative Department functions in a Legislative Secretariat building. The Legislative Department calls session and makes necessary arrangement for session of the District Council. It also has see that 4 months shall not elapse in summoning session of the District Council but the session may be summoned often in case of emergency as provided in the LADC (constitution conduct and business etc.) Rules. It also receives questions for session from the MDCs, which should be submitted to the chairman for scrutiny, However, members should submit the question at least 15 days before the session. The Chairman has to see that questions relate to matters which are the concern of the District Council as provided in the 6th Schedule. After that questions, which are approved by the chairman would be sent to the concerned Department. For preparing appropriate answers, which should be clarified by concerned Executive Member (EM) in the session. Further, the legislative Department also sends the bills for approval of the Governor, after being authenticated by the Chairman and also makes arrangements for summoning the session for electing the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and the CEM. It also has to record and publish the proceedings of the District Council Sessions. The Secretary is also prepare a report of each meeting of the LADC and send copies of such reports to :- (i) The Government of Mizoram through the Secretary, District Council Affairs. (ii) The Chief Executive Member, LADC. (iii) The Deputy Commissioner, Lawngtlai District and (iv) All MDCs of LADC

A copy of such report, when confirmed and signed by the Chairman shall be accepted as the record of the proceedings of the LADC. Besides this, it is also the duty of the Secretary :- (i). To take charge of all records of the LADC. (ii). To keep the books of the District Council. (iii). To keep a list of business for the time being before the District Council. (iv). To superintendent the typing or printing of all papers ordered by the Chairman to be typed or printed. (v). To make out from time to time a list of all select Committee sittings. (vi). To assist the district council and all select committees in such manners as they function. (vii). To write all letters directed by the Chairman of the District Council to be written.

Working of the Executive The Executive functions of the District Council are vested in the Executive Committee. So, all orders or instruments executed by the Executive Committee are to be made by order of the District Council. The Executive Committee is headed by the Chief Executive Member(CEM) but the administrative responsibility of the Executive Committee lies with the Executive Secretary. However, a person to be appointed as Executive Secretary shall not be a Member of the District Council. In accordance with the provision laid down in suh paragraph 2, Paragraph 6 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, certain departments are created in the LADC with the approval of the Governor of Mizoram. As such, there are now 22 departments in LADC functioning under the supervision of the Executive. The Executive Secretary is the overall in charge of these 22 departments which are under the control of the executive and he is also the main channel of communication between the LADC and the State Govt.

The Executive in the LADC is the organ, which executes the laws made by the Legislatures. The administrative head of the Executive is the Executive Secretary and the Executive Secretary has to assist the Chief Executive Member in dealing with the Executive works of the LADC. Besides these, departments which are under the executive Secretary, are also supervised, controlled and directed by the Executive Secretary through the General Administration Department.

Working of the Judiciary The Judiciary is also an important organ with small manpower, which significantly denotes the mini-government nature of the LADC. There are___ village Council Courts, two Intermediate District Council Courts and the District Council Court at the apex, designated as the LADC Court. However, it should be noted that, all three types of courts, can litigate cases only when both the conflicting parties are tribals and they cannot litigate if non-tribals are involved. If anyone is not satisfied with the litigation of a village Council Court, he or she can appeal to the Intermediate District Council Court and from the Intermediate District Council Court to the LADC Court. Likewise, if any party is not satisfied with the decision of the LADC Court, the High Court can be approached for appeal. The working of LADC as mini-government with three organs such as legislation, executive and Judiciary is a unique feature of the Sixth Schedule. In fact, the LADC has also received grant-in-aid annually from the state and the Central Government, and it also earns its own revenue from various sources. It also undertakes various development works through the development departments, such as PWD, PHE, Rural Development(RD), LAD, Agriculture Department, Horticulture Department and Planning and Development Dept. It also takes steps for propagation, protection and preservation of the Lai ethnic identity through Arts & Culture Deptt.