SHILLONG, Sep 05: The proposed amendment to the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution saw a major development on Tuesday with the formation of a sub – committee to prepare the draft memorandum to be submitted to the Centre and state governments.
This sub – committee was constituted by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) during a meeting convened by the KHADC chief PN Syiem with a host of representatives from the eight NGOs and traditional headmen of the region held here on Tuesday.
The meeting was also attended by executive members (EMs) of the ruling People Democratic Forum (PDF) led executive committee in the KHADC.
“We have unanimously resolved to submit a single memorandum to the both the Centre and state governments on the proposed amendment of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India,” Syiem said after this meeting.
He said a sub-committee was also constituted for drafting the proposed memorandum after taking the views and opinions of all stakeholders into consideration.
“We have also decided to study the Annexed Agreement and the Standstill Agreement to ensure that our proposal will be in the spirit of these agreements,” he said.
The Meghalaya Indigenous Tribal Constitutional Rights Movement (MITCRM), a conglomeration of NGOs, traditional headmen and others which have been taking up the matter, is one among those which has decided to merge with the KHADC on the issue.
According to Syiem, the sub-committee which has been given a deadline to complete drafting of the memorandum in a single sitting comprises of one representative from each organization and institution.
He further informed that the next sitting on the matter will again be held on September 8, in which the meeting has resolved to invite a delegation from the JHADC and GHADC to be part of the process in ensuring a collective decision is voice out on the matter.
“We will also invite all the opposition MDCs of the district council as well,” he said while adding that the final draft of the memorandum will be placed before a general meeting to be held later, for garnering more views and opinions from the people of the state.
Asked, the KHADC chief said that they would also accordingly demand the state government to also consider submitting the same memorandum to the Centre.
The state government had twice in 2013 and 2015 submitted its views on the Draft Sixth Schedule to the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2012 and Draft Constitutional (One hundred and twenty-third Amendment) Bill, 2015 for amending Article 280 of the Constitution of India and the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.
The state government is of the view that it is not desirable to substitute the existing Paragraph 12 A (a) as it will create confusion and may give rise to conflict between the autonomous district councils and the state government.
However, Forum of Councils under Sixth Schedule (FOCUS), comprising of ADCs from NE region had written to the Centre for ensuring that Paragraph 12 A (a) should be omitted and ensure subjects under Paragraph 3 are brought within the purview of the ADCs.