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Meghalaya to contest HC ruling

Shillong, Jan. 21: The state government has decided to contest Meghalaya High Court's recent ruling, asking it to bring a suitable legislation for traditional headmen.

"The state government, after discussing the matter with legal experts, has decided to contest the high court's ruling," chief secretary P.B.O. Warjri said today. The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council has already decided to appeal to the Supreme Court against the ruling.

On January 13, Meghalaya High Court had passed a judgment and order, asking the state government to bring a suitable and comprehensive legislation to settle controversies over the powers of Rangbah Shnong (headmen) as there was no uniformity in respect of customary laws, practices and usage as well as the provisions of law enacted by the autonomous district councils in the state.

However, the Meghalaya government had last year decided not to legislate in the matter of traditional headmen and institutions following public pressure and leave it to autonomous district councils. It also withdrew its proposed draft bill, The Meghalaya Grassroot Institutions Governance Act, 2015, on traditional institutions and de-notified a government-constituted committee, which was working on ways and means to empower traditional institutions in the state.


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