SHILLONG, Oct 26: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has unanimously passed KHAD (Inner Line as adapted from the Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873) Regulation Bill, 2018 for regulating the entry of outsiders into tribal areas under its jurisdiction.
Before passing the Bill during the special session which concluded here on Friday, KHADC chief Hispreaching Son Shylla expressed his gratitude to the members of the House for supporting the move of the Council to implement the Inner Line Permit (ILP).
Stating that due procedure has been followed, Shylla said that the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873 is one of the regulation included in the United Khasi-Jaintia Hills District (Application of Laws) Regulation, 1952 which is in force in the KHADC.
He recalled that the United Khasi-Jaintia Hills District (Application of Laws) Regulation, 1952 was challenged by one B Kurkalang, who was arrested under the Excise Act, 1910, which is one of the central laws included in the Regulation, 1952.
According to him, Kurkalang in her petition had maintained that the central laws included by the then Governor under United Khasi-Jaintia Hills District (Application of Laws) Regulation, 1952 are no longer application upon the establishments of the autonomous district councils.
However, he said the Supreme Court in its ruling on the matter had clearly stated that these central laws will stand until and unless they are repealed. But there has been no step taken in this regard to repeal the laws under the Regulations, 1952.
“Therefore, if any attempt to stop us from implementing the BEFR, 1873, it may be a contempt of the Supreme Court’s ruling,” Shylla said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma that ILP is a subject not within the jurisdiction of the KHADC as it is a legislation which will have to go to the government of India,
Asked for his comment on the matter after the session, the KHADC chief while not disagreeing with the CM however said, “He (CM) may be right to some extend because this additional power we are getting through the Regulation, 1952 is something which is not known to everybody.”
Citing that the KHADC is adopting the EFBR, 1873 like it did in the case of the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872, he said, “There is no need for us to seek the approval of the government of India.”
According to him, the decision to pass the Bill was also based on the direction of the state government to take necessary action on a memorandum submitted by the HYC last year.
Informing that the Bill will soon be submitted to the Governor for his assent, Shylla further said that he would also soon meet the chief minister to apprise him that there is way for the district council to implement the ILP.
“I will be meeting the CM to apprise him on the matter because I think there is some communication gap between him and the officials,” he said.
Shylla said that the Council if necessary will conduct a study Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA) passed by the state government in 2016 to find out whether it is more effective than the ILP to tackle issue of influx and illegal immigration.
“We will study the effectiveness of the MRSSA. If the state Act is more effective we have no objection as our main concern is to ensure security of our people,” he said.