From Staff Correspondent
SHILLONG, April 29: The Meghalaya High Court today remanded a tribal chief, Skhembor Khongjirem of Wahkhen village, to one day judicial custody for violating the orders that ban headmen from issuing certificates to its residents.
A divisiol bench comprising of Chief Justice Umantath Singh and Justice T.N.K Singh heard the case on Wednesday in Shillong. Khongjirem was summoned by the court for alleged contempt of its orders issued by Justice SR Sen last year.
The court order said that a village/locality headman did not derive any right from law, and rule or from the Constitution of India to issue NOC for the purpose of birth/death or for registration of any document as well as for building permission and obtaining loan.
While the reprimanded Sordar of Wahkhen village has tendered an unconditiol apology through his counsel, citing his background and lack of understanding on the consequence to follow, the divisiol bench felt, “The apology does not seem to be wholly unconditiol, and moreover looking to the background of the case in WA as well as another contempt referred to by learned single judge (Hon’ble Mr. S.R. Sen) which is also pending before the Division Bench and which inter alia, contains very serious allegations of open defiance and challenge to the impugned order passed by learned Single Judge and further that the Majesty of Law as well as the dignity of this Court, has suffered irreparable damage on that count, we reject the apology and take the contemnor in custody with directions to produce him for medical checkup, and then to lodge him in jail. He shall be produced in court tomorrow at the time of pronouncement of order”.
The court has reserved its order on the matter for tomorrow.
Skhembor Khongjirem, a Sordar of Wahkhen village was arrested by the police after a hearing was conducted by the court here on Wednesday, police sources informed.
The Sordar was taken to the Sadar Police Station and then was sent to the Shillong District Jail, they said.
Earlier, Khongjirem in his statement made to the media has claimed that he has been issuing certificates to the residents of his village.
“I have been issuing the certificates since many villagers come to me for issue of certificates either for opening of a bank account or for submission to the government departments to avail various schemes,” Khongjirem had stated.
He claimed that the certificates have greatly helped residents, especially farmers who are applying for loan and various government schemes.