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KHADC turns down demand to recall Village Administration Bill

Council challenges court ruling that undermines traditiol heads

Staff Correspondent

Shillong, January 6: The Adilberth Nongrum–led Executive Committee (EC) in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Tuesday turned down the demand to recall the Village Administration Bill, 2014. Besides, it also took another legal step by petitioning before the court challenging the Justice SR Sen directive to the government to put an end to all types of “parallel government”. The parallel government inferred by justice SR Sen is on the traditiol headmen whose constitutiol powers and functions were also questioned. 

In taking these two steps today, the executive committee virtually cold–shouldered the UDP – another coalition partner – which had tried to reason on the need to recall the legislation. The plea for the recall is due the alleged flaws in the legislation that could re–enforce the Justice SR Sen ruling that has allegedly undermined the power of traditiol heads.

However, the EC decided to stick with the legislation that is waiting for the Governor’s assent. Executive Member (EM) in charge of Elaka KP Pangniang told The Sentinel on Tuesday evening that the EC has decided to stick with the bill and instead wanted the government to facilitate an early gubertorial assent of the legislation passed in 2014. “The Bill will streamline the powers and functions of the traditiol heads,” asserted the EM Elaka, even as he added that any existing flaws can be rectified through amendments of the principal act in the days to come.

Pangniang also informed that the council on Tuesday petitioned the Meghalaya High Court and challenged the recent ruling of Justice SR Sen. The Justice, in his ruling, directed the Chief Secretary, district administration and the police not to indulge or asked people to obtain No Objection Certicate (NOC) from the headmen but to function independently as per rules.

On this, Pangniang felt that when the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution recognized the traditiol heads, it is imperative for the council to challenge the observation. “The ruling has affected the customary laws, practices and local administration and this will be the basis of our legal approach,” stated Pangniang. The KHADC lawyer PS Nongbri is expected to submit all the requisite papers on Wednesday before the Meghalaya High Court.

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Ankur Kalita

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