Bhuta-Lepcha is an ethnic grouping consisting of people of the Bhutia and Lepcha communities in Sikkim, India. Both these groups are listed as Scheduled Tribes by the Government of India.[2]

Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Sikkim, India112,507 (2011 census)[1]
Sikkimese, Nepali, Dzongkha, Tibetan, Lepcha
Buddhism, Bön, Mun

After the implementation of the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission, in 2002, 12 (out of 32) seats have been reserved for this group in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly.[3]

Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex CommitteeEdit

The Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee (SIBLAC) is a group striving for the political rights of ethnic groups of Sikkimese, Bhutia-Lepcha (BL) and Nepalis of Sikkimese origin.[4] In addition to the reservation for the BL in the Legislative Assembly of Sikkim, they argue for reservation in local body (panchayat) elections as well.[5]

Legal battlesEdit

In 1993, a case was brought in the Supreme Court of India, challenging the reservation for the BL constituencies and for the Sangha constituency in Sikkim, by Ram Chandra Poudyal[4] of the Rising Sun Party. The five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, dismissed the petition, judging that the reservations (or their quantity) aren't violating articles 14, 170(2) or 332 of the Constitution.[6][7]

In 2015, a petition was brought to the Sikkim High Court by Mr. Phigu Tshering Bhutia arguing for reassigning reservation for the Bhuti-Lepcha as well as for the Limboo-Tamang (LT), in the upcoming municipal elections, in Sikkim. The judge, Meenakshi Madan Rai, dismissed the petition, while upholding the precedent where reservation in electoral constituencies aren't subject to the scrutiny of any court of law.[8][9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "A-11 Individual Scheduled Tribe Primary Census Abstract Data and its Appendix". Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  2. ^ "State/Union Territory-wise list of Scheduled Tribes in India". Ministry of Tribal Affairs, India. Archived from the original on 2016-08-15. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  3. ^ "Sikkim - Final Publication". Election Commission of India. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  4. ^ a b Joydeep Sen Gupta (6 April 2019). "Sikkim's Sangha Assembly seat is a perfect example of the state's unique political process to protect minority rights - Politics News". Firstpost. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee - About us". Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  6. ^ "R.C. Poudyal and ANR. Vs. Union of India and ORS" (PDF). Supreme Court of India. 10 February 1993. Retrieved 20 January 2021. The reservation of seats for Bhutias and Lepchas is necessary because they constitute a minority and in the absence of reservation they may not have any representation in the Legislative Assembly. [...] That impugned provisions providing for reservation of 12 seats, out of 32 seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly in favour of Bhutias Lepchas, are neither unconstitutional as violative of the basic features of democracy and republicanism under the Indian Constitution nor are they violative of Articles 14, 170(2) and 332 of the Constitution. [...] The extent of reservation of seats is not violative of Article 332(3) of the Constitution.
  7. ^ "R.C. Poudyal & ANR Vs. Union of India & Ors (1993) INSC 77 (10 February 1993)". Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  8. ^ Hon'ble Mrs. Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai, Judge (30 July 2016). "Judgement - WP(C) No.60 of 2015 - Shri Phigu Tshering Bhutia vs. State of Sikkim and Others - Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India" (PDF). Sikkim High Court. Retrieved 23 January 2021. As there is a specific bar to interference by Courts in electoral matters, I would not be inclined to wade into forbidden waters
  9. ^ "Phigu Tshering Bhutia v. State Of Sikkim and Ors". Retrieved 23 January 2021.

External linksEdit