KHADC opposes decision to implement CrPC and CPC in tribal areas of Meghalaya

Shillong, September 9: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Thursday voiced strong opposition to the state government’s decision to extend the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and Civil Procedure Code (CPC) in the tribal areas of State.

This happened a day after the State Cabinet approved the notification about it.

“We will not accept the notification as it is contrary to the spirit of subsection 5(3) of the Sixth Schedule which states that the CrPC and the CPC will not apply,” said KHADC chief Titosstarwell Chyne. , to journalists.

Stating that the notification aims to dilute the powers of the district council courts, Chyne said, “The notification makes it clear that the CrPC and the CPC will apply to all courts in Meghalaya, which also includes the district council courts. , subordinate courts and village courts.

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He said the government had gone ahead with approving the notification without considering suggestions made by the district council to include the words “excluding courts established under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India and that these courts shall continue to derive powers under paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India.”

“We have also suggested to the government the need to ensure that the exclusive jurisdiction of the District Council Courts to hear and adjudicate inter-tribal cases in the Tribal Areas is not in any way diluted,” he said.

“Therefore, we totally object and have decided not to accept this part of the Notice as it did not mention the word excluding Sixth Schedule Tribunals,” Chyne added.

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The CEM said the notification in its current form can also be construed that it will also apply to the District Council Courts although it states “that the District Council Courts will continue to derive powers under paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India.”

“We are in need of conferring powers on the Judicial Magistrates of the District Session Courts, but despite the Chief Minister’s assurance that this will not affect the District Council Courts, the notification however says otherwise as the CrPC will be taxed statewide,” he said.

Demanding that the government maintain the notification, the KHADC leader said, “The government should not notify the notification until the issue is resolved.”

He warned: “If the government decides to go ahead with its decision to dilute the powers of the district council courts, it is best for the government to close all the district council courts.

When asked, Chyne said he would call a meeting with all MDCs to make a collective decision next Monday. “We will also meet with the leaders of JHADC and GHADC to decide the matter,” he said.

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress in KHADC has also called on the state government to reconsider its decision and consider exempting the District Council courts from the provisions of the CrPC and the CPC.

“We vehemently oppose the government’s decision as it seeks to wrest judicial powers from the district council courts,” opposition leader PN Syiem told reporters.

“We have therefore requested the government to exempt the Sixth Schedule Tribal Areas from the provisions of the CrPC and the CPC. The government should allow district council courts to only implement the spirit of the CrPC and the CPC,” he said.

He said the government should take into account that it is not easy for the rural poor to defend themselves in district courts due to the exorbitant fees. “We call on the government not to dilute the age-old customary practices that have existed since British times and since independence,” Syiem added.

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