Meghalaya CM seeks Rajnath’s intervention on empowering tribals

Shillong, Nov 1 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Sunday met union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and sought his intervention on the two bills passed by two autonomous councils in the state to empower traditional institutions.

Governor V. Shanmuganathan had referred the Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Village Administration) Bill, 2014 and the Jaintia Autonomous District Council (Establishment of Elaka and Village Election, Appointment, Powers, Functions and Jurisdiction of Dolloi/Sirdar and Waheh Shnong) Bill, 2015 to the union home ministry for constitutional validity following the Meghalaya High Court order curtailing the powers of the traditional institutions in issuing certificates to people unless empowered by law.

The bills were passed by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC).

“The chief minister informed the home minister that the perceived delay in the grant of assent by the governor to the two bills has caused a fair amount of apprehension and anxiety among the traditional institutions questioning the intentions of the government,” said a government statement.

Sangma informed Rajnath Singh that few provisions in those bills which were found in conflict with the provisions of the constitution and other central and state laws were discussed with the concerned district councils and accordingly, appropriate modifications in the bills were carried out.

He also sought Rajnath Singh’s intervention on the need to examine quickly the two bills and to convey the home ministry’s views to the governor in order to enable him to take an early decision on grant of assent to the bills so that the institutions can once again work as partners with the government in maintaining law and order and bring in peace and harmony in the State.

The chief minister also discussed law and order issues.

The government statement said Rajnath Singh assured Sangma that appropriate action will be taken in all the issues.

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