Minister in-charge District Council Affairs Lahkmen Rymbui on September 22 said there is no decision to change the notification on extending the CrPC and CPC to courts in the state.
Rymbui told reporters that Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had called for a series of meetings to discuss the matter following opposition from the autonomous district councils (ADCs).
“Let us see when they give a written complaint to the chief minister, he will call a meeting but whether we review or not that is a different issue altogether,” he said.
On the KHADC decision to continue opposing the notification as it fails to exempt the district council courts despite government’s assurance that the same will not dilute their powers, Rymbui said, “I don’t have to add more to that explanation as the government has taken a decision. The cabinet had already taken a decision and notification has come out so it is not for me to see how the notification could be changed. If anything only the chief minister himself can look within the parameters of the system.”
He however said, “From information I have gathered during the series of meetings held that para 4 of the Sixth Schedule is exclusively for the district council to try the cases and para 5 relates to the power conferred by the governor.”
Rymbui said that issue has come up as there is need to give power to the district sessions judge following the separation of judiciary from the executive.
“The government had held a series of meetings and finally they had taken this decision and if KHADC is not happy, let’s see what our chief minister says,” he said.
He maintained that law and order is an exclusive jurisdiction of the government and CrPC is already extended to the deputy commissioner to invoke 144 CrPC whenever there is a law and order situation in the state.
The UDP vice-president, Allantry Franklin Dkhar, also said that although the party has not had any official discussions on the notification to apply the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) to courts, but during interactions with many members their stand is that these legislations should not be extended to the Sixth Schedule areas.
“The inclusion of the CrPC and the CPC in the Sixth Schedule areas is like snatching away power of the district council to adjudicate between the tribals,” Dkhar said.
He said that if the party at this juncture cannot stop the inclusion of these two legislations in the Sixth Schedule Areas then this will ultimately weaken the institution of the autonomous district council.
He said that the notification for extension of the CrPC and the CPC throughout the state should have a provision which states that these legislations will be in force ‘excluding the Sixth Schedule areas’.
Dkhar also informed that soon they will be meeting as a party to discuss the matter and to take a stand and then will write to the government.
“We will request our legislators in the government to pass the message onto them,” he added.