SHILLONG, July 2 – The Meghalaya High Court on Tuesday said laws cannot be passed on subject matters that are pending before the Court and refused to accept the State Government’s ordinance passed to empower headmen.
During hearing on a case between the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and the State Government, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice TNK Singh passed the order orally.
After the hearing, KHADC Counsel, G Massar told The Assam Tribune that he brought to the notice of the Court about the Ordinance passed by the State Government to which the judges said they would go by the merit of the case alone.
“The judges said no Ordinance or law can be brought by any authority which interferes with the Court’s functioning. The judges further said if there is any interference contempt cases could be initiated against those authorities,” Massar added.
Last year on December 10, Justice SR Sen passed an order which barred headmen from issuing certificates to the residents. In the order, Justice Sen said the headmen can only issue such certificates if they are empowered by law.
After the order, the KHADC and the State Government has been working out to bring the headmen under the purview of law. The State Cabinet on May 11 approved the Meghalaya Local Administration (Empowerment of Traditional Institutions, Traditional Bodies, Headmen in Governance Delivery System) Ordinance, 2015 seeking to empower headmen.
Massar brought to the notice of the Court about this Ordinance.
Meanwhile, in another case on Tuesday, the High Court asked the Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes to file affidavit and clarify the legal position why tribals residing in Municipal areas are not levied Income Tax. The matter came up for hearing but was listed for another hearing three weeks from now together with the headmen’s case.