LAW DEPARTMENT

LANDMARK COURT’S DECISION:

1. Civil Appeals No. 1546 & 1547 of 1968:  [ORDER]

District Council of United Khasi & Jaintia Hills Ors, etc.. Appellants

Versus

Miss Sitimon Sawian, etc..Respondent.

The matter that came up for appeal was whether the authority of the District Council enacting the United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills District (Transfer of land) Act, 1953 constitutionally valid or otherwise.

Initially the matter arose in this way. The United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills District Council in exercise of powers under paragraph 3 (1) (a) of the sixth Scheduled to the constitution of India enacted the United Khasi Jaiñtia District (Transfer of land) Act, of 1953 (hereinafter referred to as the Act).

The said Act was enacted with the intend aims and subject of making provision in the Autonomous District with respect to the transfer, allotment, occupation or use of land for any purpose likely, to promote the local interest of the local people. Thus the silent features of the Act was, amongst others, that no land within the District shall be sold mortgaged, leased, bartered, gifted or otherwise transferred by tribal to a non- tribal or by non- tribal to another non- tribal except with the previous sanction of the District Council, and, that sanction shall not be accorded \to the sale from a tribal to a non- tribal if the latter already holds one piece of house property on land in the district either in his name or in the name of other members of his family or falls within the category of the class of profiteering lands lords. Besides, no sanction shall be given such application before a report is received from the local Administrative heads and duly considered.

The authorities of the District Council were fully aware of the anxiety of the Khasi people about their land and their fear of exploitation due to continuing pressure of population of more advanced and crowded areas of the plain portion of Assam and others and had also foreseen that, serious problem may crop up in the near future owing to unrestrained liberty to outsiders particularly non- tribal to come and settle down in Shillong as also in other part of the Districts resulting which the percentage of non- tribals inhabitants particularly in Shillong town was much greater than the percentage of tribal inhabitants, large scale transfer / encroachment of land by non-tribal had taken place in rampant. The Khasi people by virtue of their economic backwardness could not withstand or challenged the non- tribal who in view of their greater financial strength could nullify their ambition, and over seeing the danger of losing their land, they felt that suitable protection should be given by way of making appropriate provision.

Thus, in order to cherish the aspiration of the Khasi people, the aforesaid Act was accordingly passed by the United Khasi Jaiñtia Hills District Council which received the assent of the Governor on 2nd May 1953 and published in the Assam Gazette on 6th May 1953.

However, the said Act was struck down by the Gauhati High Court following petition filled by Sitimon Sawian and other challenging its constitutional validity.

The fact giving rise to the case before the High Court was that Miss. Sitimon Sawian of Umsohsun, Shillong having vast movable property in Shillong town as also in other District outside Shillong, decided to sell her Ri - Kynti land.

There being great demand of land situated within Shillong town, many intending purchasers approached her for purchases of the lease hold right in her Ri - Kynti land situated at Lower Mawprem, Shillong. Accordingly, she entered into agreement with different purchasers belonging to non- tribal community for sale of the aforesaid lands at the prices agreed to by the parties and the lands agreed to be sold were divided into 10 (ten) different plots. Thereafter, as required under the provisions of the Act, aforesaid, she was obliged to file applications dated the 4th February 1965, the 4th March 1965 and the 1st March 1965 to the Secretary, Executive Committee, District Council, United Khasi Jaiñtia Hills Shillong through the Syiem of Mylliem praying for the grant permission to transfer ten plots of land to ten different person, namely – (1) Sri Copendra Kumar Ghos, New Star Diary, Shillong, (2) Sri Copendra Kumar Ghos, Barapani, Shillong, (3) Sri Bipin Chandra Ghos, New Star Diary, Shillong, (4) Sri Digendra Kumar Ghos, D. M. – 19, Dudgeon Lines, Shillong, (5) Sri Nonindra Kumar Ghos, Lower Mawprem, Shillong, (6) Sri Ranjit Kumar Ghosh, New Star Diary Shillong, (7) Sri Bamondra Sunder Roy Choudry, Nongrim Hill, Shillong, (8) Sri Kabindra Bijoy Kar, Account Generals Office, Shillong, (9) Sri Purna Chandra, Nongthymmai, Shillong and (10) Sri Mritynjoy Chakravorty, Temple Road, Shillong.

The Syiem of Mylliem forwarded aforementioned application to the Secretary, Executive Committee, and District Council without any report. The Executive Committee after Scrutiny of the application found that there were no grounds to justify sanction for transfer of the land, as applied for and hence they were rejected.

Against the refusal of the District Council to sanction the transfer of the land aforesaid, the said Sitimon Sawian filed a case before the High Court of Assam and Nagaland at Guahati challenging inter alias the constitutional validity of the Act.

Subsequently, the said High Court after hearing both parties held that the United Khasi – Jaintia Hills District Council is not competent to make laws on transfer of land thereby setting aside the order passed by the Executive Committee and also Striking the United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills District (transfer of land) Act, 1953. Being aggrieved of the Said order, the District Council, with the leave of the Court, had preferred an appeal to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court, after hearing the counsel for the District Council, granted an interim order staying the operation of the said order of the High Court.

However, in its final hearing, the Supreme Court vide its order dt. 25. 8. 71 held that the subject of transfer is beyond the scope of the law – making power conferred on the District Council by the constitution and to that extend, therefore, the impugned Act which means section 3 there of is void being beyond the jurisdiction of the District Council. Accordingly the appeal of the District Council was dismissed.

1. CA 394 of 1960:  [ORDER]

T Cajee, Chief Executive Member

Versus

U Jormanik Syiem & Others.

In this appeal the question was raised regarding interpretation of certain provision of the Sixth Schedule to the constitution of India pertaining to the authority of the District Council in matters relating to the suspension / removal of the Syiem of Mylliem U Jormanik Syiem.

This case arose out of the Honble High Court rejecting the order of the Executive Committee suspending U Jormanik Syiem form the office of the Syiem of Mylliem.

Briefly, the Executive Committee of the United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills Autonomous had, on certain charges leveled against U Jormanik Syiem, Syiem of Mylliem suspended from his office on 7. 7. 59, subsequently, the suspended Syiem filed a writ petition before the High Court which was admitted and notice was issued to the respondents to show because why the writ petition should not be allowed. The High Court also passed and order staying the operation of the suspension order on the appellant dt. July 7, 1959. The contention of the appellant before the High Court is that he could not be removed from his office or suspended by the Executive Committee of the District Council and that the order of the Executive Committee suspending him was illegal and ultra vies being against custom and usage relating to that matter.

The petition was opposed on behalf of the Executive Committee of the District Council and its main contention was that the Syiem was nominated by an electoral college consisting of the representatives of several clans and that the people in general had nothing to do with it and that the nomination of the Syiem by the electoral college was subject to approval of the Government. In accordance with that custom, the Syiems nomination by the Myntri – Electors to the Syiemship of Mylliem was approved by the Government and he was appointed to the office of Syiem subject to the confirmation by the District Council when that body come into existence. It is further, contended by the Executive Committee of the District Council that the Syiem being appointed by the Government formerly and now by the District Council was liable to removal and / or suspension by the appointing authority in case ha did not act in accordance with the terms of his appointment and if found guilty of oppression, misconduct or dereliction of duty, among others.

Delivering its judgement in the above mentioned case, the High Court held that after the coming into force of the constitution, the Khasi lost all existence as separate entitles except in so far as the existence or authority was preserved by the constitution. It also held that the Syiem was appointed by the Deputy commissioner on behalf of the government with due regards to the nomination made by the Myntri – Electors and the appointment was subject to confirmation by the District Council when that body was constituted, the appointment on April 9, 1959 on certain terms which were revised in 1955. It also held that the administration of the District vested in the District Council, but it was of the view that the appointment / Succession of the Syiem were never intended to be its administrative unction and therefore the District Council could only act in the matter by making law with the assent of the Governorand not by passing orders in exercise of its administrative functions.

In the result, the High Court allowed the petition of the pensioner and directed that the suspension order dt. 7. 7. 59 should not be given effect to.

Subsequently, the Executive Committee of the District Council, represented by its Chief Executive Member, T Cajee, appealed against the order of the High Court aforesaid, to the Supreme Court.

The Division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of the chief Justice, Bhuavan Prasad Sinha, Justice J. L. Kapur, Justice P. B. Kajendragadkar, Justice K. N. Wanchoo and Justice Subha Roa by order dt. 20. 9. 60 allowed the Appeal with cost, set aside the order of the High Court confirming that the Executive Committee of the District Council has the power to remove and suspend the Syiem of Mylliem.

1. Civil Appeals Nos. 1475 & 1476 (NCM) of 1969:  [ORDER]

The District Council, United Khasi-Jaintia Hills, Shillong and another …Appellants

Versus

Ka Drepsila Lyngdoh of Syllai-U-Lor, Mylliem, Mylliem Syiemship, United Khasi-Jaintia Hills and others…Respondents.

This case arose for decision brought by the District Council, United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills on Certificate granted by the Assam and Nagaland High Court on one question whether the jurisdiction of the District Council of the United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills extends to the area called Bara Bazar village Mawkhar in Shillong.

The Assam & Nagaland High Court in Civil Rule No. 264 of 1966 – Ka Drepsila Lyngdoh – Versus – District Council United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills Shillong and others held that the District Council had no jurisdiction, administrative or otherwise over the area known as Bara Bazar area comprised within village Mawkhar and in the South East Mawkhar Ward of Shillong municipality. The District Council of the United Khasi – Jaiñtia appealed against the said order to the Supreme Court upon which the Division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice K. K. Mathew, Justice V. R. Krishna lyer and Justice A. C. Gupta, after hearing at length and considering the matter in pros and cons by order dt. 20. 2. 75 opined that the jurisdiction of the District Council of the United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills extends to the areas aforementioned.

In the result, the judgment and orders of the high Court are set aside and the writ petition before it are dismissed, Accordingly, the Supreme Court confirmed the authority of the District Council pertaining to Bara Bazar and other areas.

1. Civil Appeal No. 968 of 1965 (Page: 1220 – AIR 1966):  [ORDER]

Edwingson Bareh…Appellant

Versus

The State of Assam & Others…Respondents (Before Supreme Court)

The case above is connected with the creation of the new Autonomous District of Jowai which was created by the Governor of Assam, vide notification No. TAD / R /50 / 64 dt. 23rd November 1964, by carving out of the then United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills Autonomous District.

Mr. Edwingson Bareh, who was then the Chief Executive Member of the United Khasi – Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council, challenged the constitutional validity of the notification abovementioned by filing a writ petition before the High Court of Assam and Nagaland. The Special Bench of the High Court consisting of three judges, by majority decision (two judges), rejected the contention rose by the appellant and dismissed his petition.

After the dismissal of the writ petition by the High Court, the appellant Mr. Edwingson Bareh, filed an appeal before the Supreme Court of India. The five judges of the Supreme court, by majority (4 judges) did not interfere with the majority decision of the High Court and therefore dismissed the appeal petition, vide its order dt. 29th November 1965. Thus, the notification dt. 23rd November 1964 is held to be constitutionally valid.

The Jowai Autonomous District Council which was consequently renamed as the Jaiñtia Hills Autonomous District Council was constituted in 1967.

1. Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Civil)/Criminal No.(s) 8394 of 1987: [ORDER]

(From the judgment and other dated 12.6.1987 of the High Court of Gauhati (Shillong Bench) at Shillong in the Civil Rule No.; 424 of 1975).

Bara Bazar, Merchants & Shopkeepers Association…Petitioner(s)

Versus

Khasi Hills District Council & Others…Respondent(s)

In pursuance of the judgment dated 20. 2. 75 passed by the Honble Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No. 1475 and 1476, the district Council issued noticed extending its jurisdiction to the Bara Bazar  area in village Mawkhar in Shillong requiring that every Non – Tribal Trader either whole seller or retailer in the Bara Bazar area should obtain a Trade License under the United Khasi – Jaiñtia  Hills District (Trading by Non - Tribals) Regulation 1954, from the District Council. On receipt of the said notice, the Bara Bazar Merchants & the Shopkeepers Association including the petitioner Fanindralal Kuri filed writ petitions contending inter alia that the District council has no jurisdiction over Bara Bazar area to apply the provisions of Trading by Non – Tribals Regulations and the rule made there under in as much as Bara Bazar area is not a part of the territory as defined in paragraph 20 of the Sixth Schedule to the constitution of India. The petitioners, have therefore, prayed before the Honable High Court to issue appropriate write or direction and to declare the United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills District (Trading by Non – Tribals ) Regulation 1954 and the rule thereunder to be void and unconstitutional. However, the Division Bench of Guahati High Court, after hearing the case at length, opined that the contention made in the writ petitions cannot sustain and accordingly the petitions are dismissed.

Subsequently, the Bara Bazar Merchants & Shop Keepers Association preferred an appeal against High Court order aforesaid, before the Honble Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court vide its order dated 26. 8. 1987 dismissed the writ petitioners special leave petition, in limine.

1. Civil Appeal No. 1831 of 1988. (Arising out of SLP No.4686/88): [ORDER]

Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, Shillong & others…Appellants

Versus

U Franciswell Syiem…Respondent

On the    basis of the complaint received against U Franciswell Syiem, Syiem of Mylliem Syiemship under which several charges were leveled against him, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, in exercised of the power conferred upon it under sub-clause (II) of the third proviso to section 6 of the United Khasi – Jañtia Hills Autonomous District (Appointment and Succession of chief and Headmen) Act, 1959 as amended, suspended U Franciswell Syiem from the post of Syiem Mylliem.

The aforesaid suspension order was challenged by the said U Franciswell Syiem by way of writ petition filed in Guahati High Court. Subsequently, the Guahati High Court vides its judgement and order dt. 1. 3. 88 in civil rule No. 310 of 1987 quashed the suspension order passed by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.

The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council approached the Honble Supreme Court by way of special leave petition against the aforesaid judgment and order of the Guahati high Court and the Supreme Court vide its order date 9. 5. 88 was pleased tom allow the appeal, set aside the High Court order, and the suspension order passed against U Franciswell Syiem was restored inter alia, directing that the inquiry proceedings against the suspended Syiem shall be completed within three months from the date of order.

It may be mentioned that, the Inquiry Officer, who conducted the inquiry into the charges framed against U Franciswell Syiem, suspended Syiem, in his report and findings found that the Charges were proved. The Executive Committee, Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council later on dismissed U Franciswell Syiem from his office.

1. Writ Petition (C) No. 673 of 1997:  [ORDER]

Non-Tribal Youth Union Regd. & Another…Appellant(s)

Versus

Union of India & Others…Respondent(s)

The Non – Tribals Youth Union represented by its President Mr. Pawan Sharma field a writ petition before the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills District (Trading by Non – Tribals). Regulation, 1954as amended in the year 1989 where by the Regulation was made applicable to the whole of Khasi Hills Autonomous District including those areas comprising within the Shillong Municipality. In the writ petition, it was also contended inter alias the Non – Tribals are being harassed in the state of Meghalaya. The Division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice V. N. Khare and Ashok Bhan passed and order dt. 20.8.2002 dismissing the writ petition. With this order, the Supreme Court has once again confirmed that the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council has jurisdiction over Bara Bazar and other autonomous areas comprising within Shillong Municipality and that Non – Tribals cannot carry on any business within the aforesaid areas without Trade License issued by the District Council under the provision of the United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills District (Trading by Non – Tribals) Regulation, 1954.

The Supreme Court has thus set at rest the controversy sought to be raised time again that the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council do not have the jurisdiction over Bara Bazar areas and others and once again reiterated its view expressed in Ka Drepsilas case in the year 1975.

1. Review Petition (Civil) No. 1327 of 2002 (In W.P. (C) No.673/1997):  [ORDER]

Non-Tribal Youth Union & Another…Petitioner(s)

Versus

Union of India & Others…Respondent(s)

Notwithstanding the Supreme Court Order stated in foregoing cases, the Non – Tribal time and again raised the issue by way of filing a review petition before the Supreme Court. But once again the Supreme Court, after going through review petition as well as relevant documents, opined that “no case of review is made out. Hence the review petition is dismissed” per its order dt. 31.10.2002.

1. Civil Appeal No. 4882/2002 (Arising out of SLP (C) 379/2002): [ORDER]

Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council

Versus

Charlesstone Sohtun & Others

The case came up before the Supreme Court following the Guahati High Court Order quashing the suspension passed by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council against U Laborios Manik Syiem, Syiem of Mylliem.

Initially, this case arose of the complaint received against U Laborios Manik Syiem, Syiem of Mylliem with certain serious allegations for his mal – administration of the Syiemship. The Executive Committee of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council after making preliminary inquiry into the matter is convinced that the allegations against U Laborios Manik Syiem are very serious in nature requiring detailed inquiry, and for the purpose of conducting free, fair and impartial inquiry, accordingly, in exercise of the power conferred under sub – clause (II) of the third proviso to section 6 (1) of the relevant act, suspended U Laborios Manik Syiem from the office of Syiem of Mylliem.

Thereafter, some Myntris along with the suspended Syiem filed a writ petition challenging the order of suspension aforesaid before the Guahati High Court whereupon the learned single Judge passed and order quashing the impugned suspension order and allowed the suspended Syiem to hold the post of Syiem of Mylliem. Although the District Council filed a writ appeal against the order of the Learned Single Judge, before the Division Bench of the Guahati High Court, it was rejected.

Ultimately, the District Council approached, by way of Special Leave Petition, the Supreme Court which the latter upheld the order of the District Council suspending U Laborios Manik Syiem and set aside the orders of the high Court and the writ petition of the Respondents stand dismissed.

1. Khasi Hills Autonomous :  [ORDER]

District Council…Appellant

Versus

U Fairly Syiem… Respondent

The matter in question relates to the election of the Syiem of Nongstoiñ. The election / nomination of Syiem of Nongstoiñ were necessitated consequent to the death of U Hodington Syiem, Syiem of Nongstoiñ.

The Executive Committee of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council after finalization of the Electoral College directed the Returning Officer to start the election process for holding election of Syiem of Nongstoiñ. The Returning Officer accordingly called for Nomination papers fixing 21.4.93 for scrutiny and 23.4.93 as the last date for withdrawal and fixed 11.5.93 as the date for holding election / nomination of Syiem of Nongstoiñ. As per prevailing custom, election / nomination of Syiem was scheduled to be held in the Syiemships Office at Nongstoiñ. However, the election / nomination could not be held as scheduled due to obstruction by people of Hima Nongstoiñ agitating the holding of election and opposed the candidature of U Fairly Syiem whom they alleged that he does not belong to the eligible clan.

The Executive Committee was very much anxious to hold the election of the Syiem of Nongstoiñ but it efforts to hold the same were repeatedly obstructed by the people of Nongstoiñ agitating the holding of election so long U Fairly Syiem remain in the list of contesting Candidate. Nevertheless, U Fairly Syiem disregarded the opposition of the people and filed series of petitions before the High Court seeking direction for holding of the election.

On the basis of such petitions, the High Court directed from time to time for the holding of election but all ended in vain as people stuck to their guns.

Finally, the High Court after careful consideration of the report of the Executive Committee, the Returning Officer as well as that of its Registrar who was deputed as an Election Observer, directed the Executive committee to hold the election of Syiem of Nongstoiñ in the District Council Office premises. In compliance there of, the election was accordingly held on 24.7.97 amidst tight security to pre-empt any breach of law that would be likely perpetrated by the agitating members of Ki Khun Ki Hajar Ka Hima Nongstoiñ who had purportedly rushed from Nongstoiñ for obstructing the election. The result was declared by the Returning Officer on  25th July 1997. Thirty four (34) out of fifty eight (58) electors participated the election and unanimously nominated elected U Fairly Syiem to be the Syiem of the Nongstoiñ while the other two candidates, namely U Phylla Singh Syiem and U Lamphrang Syiem had drawn blank.

Thereafter, the Executive Committee as per provision of  Selection 5 of the United Khasi Jaiñtia Hills Autonomous District ( Appointment &Succession of chief & Headmen ) Act, 1959 as amended, placed the report before the Council for consideration and approval to enable appointment of U Fairly Syiem as the Syiem of Nongstoiñ. But the Council in its Session on the 24th October, 1997, after discussing the report elaborately, rejected to accord its approval mention ably in view of petition disputing the election nomination of the Syiem of Nongstoiñ. Hence appointment could not be issued.

Consequently, U Fairly Syiem approached the High Court by way of writ petition questioning the rule of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council in not appointing him as Syiem of Nongstoiñ Syiemship though election was held and result too was declared.

The High Court admitted the petition and after hearing counsels of both parties, directed the District Council to grant approval to the election / nomination of U Fairly Syiem as Syiem of Nongstoiñ Elaka and to appoint him to that Office in accordance that law.

The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council challenge the aforesaid order of the Learned Single Judge by writ appeal before the Division Bench of the Guahati High Court contending inter alia that any decision passed by the Council in its session cannot be called in question in the court of law. The Learned Single Judge while passing the said order have over – looked the most vital aspect that the procedure of resolving questions on its legislative side could not have been looked into by the Learned Court and that the Learned Single Judge had exceeded the jurisdiction by prevailing upon the legislative dominion of the District Council.

It was also submitted before the Honble High Court that the District Council in its session held on 24. 10. 97 after discussing the matter at length, on whether the election was held according the custom prevailing in the Elaka and whether the District Council should approve such election, arrived at a different opinion and accordingly voting had to be held in which 10 (ten) voted for approval while 12 (twelve) voted against the approval, so ultimately the Council have no other alternative but to disapprove the election. Over and above there is an election petition pending before the Tribunal.

Nevertheless, the Honble High Court rejected the writ appeal upholding the order of Learned Single Judge. Having highly aggrieved and dissatisfied with the orders of the High Court aforesaid, the District Council preferred an appeal by filing Special leave petition before the Supreme Court but it turned out to be futile as the latter dismissed the S.L.P. upholding the orders of High Court.

1. Civil Appeal No. 41-42 of 1999 Supreme Court :

Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, Shillong …Petitioner

Versus

Pawan Sharma & Others…Respondents

Question involved in this case was whether the District Council could exercise jurisdiction in respect of those areas comprised within the Shillong Municipality in view of para – 20 of the sixth Schedule to the constitution.

The case arose out of the order passed by the Guahati High Court, comprising of justice A. P. Singh and Justice B. N. Singh Neelam who by their Judgment and order dt. 15. 9. 98 in the PIL field one Pawan Sharma against the State of Meghalaya being Civil Rule No. 66 (SH) / 98, has recorded findings that, apart from the 5 wards of Shillong Municipality where the District Council has no jurisdiction whatsoever, the remaining 23 (twenty three) wards of Shillong Municipality also would not be deemed to be within the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council in as much as they are not Tribals Areas within the meaning of para – 20 of the sixth Schedule.

The above judgement made by the Honble Court was delivered without any pleading and without impleading the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council as a party respondent. Besides, the said PIL was field directly against the State Government for not holding the Municipal Election. Hence the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council being aggrieved by such unilateral order had no other alternatives, but approach the Apex Court by way of Special Leave Petition and the Supreme Court on hearing the matter, found merit in the arguments of the District Council put forward by its advocates Mr. V. Hansaria and Mr. B. B. Narzary accordingly admitted the appeal and stayed the operation of the High Court aforesaid.

Thereafter, the Supreme Court consisting of Justice S. Sakhir Ahmed and Justice D. P. Wadha vide order dt. 10. 12. 99 allowed the appeal of the District Council and set aside the impugned Judgement of the High Court thereby establishing the authority of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council in all areas within the Mylliem Syiemship irrespective of whether Municipal is also exercising power, but, for health and sanitation.

Conclusion:

Precisely, the United Khasi – Jaiñtia Hills District Council is the Constitutional body being created under the Sixth Schedule Article 244 (2) and Article 275 (a) to the constitution of India. It has been clothed with Administrative, Legislative and Judicial powers over the territory of the District by relevant provisions of the aforesaid Sixth Schedule. For that matter the District Council in its constitutional obligation passed and acted several Acts and Regulations pertaining to administration on land, forest, control of money lending and trading by non-tribals, Appointment & Succession of Chief & Headmen to name a few, with a view to protect and safeguard the rights and interest of the indigenous tribals.

It is pertinent to reiterate that the fear of exploitation by the people of the plains, namely the non-tribals, on account of their superior organization and experience in business etc., had prevailed among the Khasi people as large numbers of non-tribals, had settle down not only occupied land belonging to the Khasi people but also exploited them on the non-agricultural professions. The problem had much more acute with the passing of time as there were no suitable provisions to prevent such phenomena. Hence, the coming of the District Council in 1952, brought immense joy and exhilaration to the whole Khasi Community.

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