SHILLONG, January 3: Barely six months after the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council passed the Village Administration Bill, 2014, the United Democratic Party (UDP) and over 150 traditiol heads on Saturday asked the council to recall the legislation for further fine tuning.
The Bill has already reached the Government and is awaiting approval. The main reason that made the UDP and the traditiol heads to ask for the recall of the bill is “to plug the loopholes”. Those “lacus” have been seen as prospects that can re–enforce the recent high court order that questioned the constitutiol powers of the village headmen in the State.
Urging the KHADC to re–draft the Bill, the UDP and the traditiol heads have also formed a five–member committee which will assist the council to re–write the legislation within a period of one month, stated UDP working president Bindo M Lanong.
Lanong will be the convener of the committee and its includes SD Khongwir – chairman of Mawlai Town Dorbar, Robert Dkhar – headman of Lumdiengjri, Emlang Lytan – secretary of Nongthymmai Dorbar Pyllun, Ban Pyngrope – headman of Nongrah and Baston S Lyngdoh – headman of Riatsamthiah.
With the high court questioning the headmen on the powers they derive to issue No Objection Certificate (NOC) and to interfere with the administration, the consultative body also demanded the KHADC and JHADC to come up with a legislation to empower as well as clearly define the powers and functions of the traditiol heads.
While the KHADC has decided to appeal in a higher court against the ruling of the Meghalya High Court that questioned the validity of the powers of the headmen, Lanong, himself a prominent lawyer, said, “It will be useless to contest the order of the court when there are no laws in place”.
“That is why our focus is on how to bring in laws. Once the laws are in place, automatically the ruling of the high court will be defeated,” he said while emphasising on the need to have legislations from the two autonomous district councils of the State.
Stating that even though the consultative meeting does not wanted to speak against the court order, the UDP leader, however, felt that the government will practically have a torrid time in implementing schemes or in soliciting the traditiol councils’ assistance in maintaining law and order.
Quoting the order which directed the government and district administration not to take any or seek any assistance from the headmen, he said, “This will no doubt affect the government and district administration in many ways.” Lanong said “practically speaking, we feel that the traditiol heads have made a lot of contribution in ensuring peace and tranquility within the State”.