(MONDAY, THE 25th JUNE, 2001)

        The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the  transaction of Government Business.


        Starred questions Nos. 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131 and 132 with supplementary  thereto, Nos. 133 to 146 without supplementary, were disposed of.

        Unstarred questions Nos.1 to 12 to which written answers have been given were laid on the tables.


        Dr. Donkupar Roy, Minister, Health and Family Welfare made a statement under Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business on matter relating to reply to Starred Question No.10 dated 18th June, 2001.


        Shri K.C. Momin, Minister, Tourism made a Statement under Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business on matter relating to reply to Starred Question No.83 dated 21st June, 2001.


        Shri M.N. Mukhim, Minister, Power laid the Statement of Account of the Meghalaya State Electricity Board for the year 1999-2000.


        Grants Nos.1, 2, 3 were passed - no Cut motions.

        Shri E.K. Mawlong, Chief Minister, moved Grant No. 4.

        Dr. Mukul Sangma, moved his cut motion against No.4. He discussed in details on the functioning of the department vis-a-vis administration of justice in the State.

        The mover mentioned that the people who filed cases at different levels are subjected to various in conveniences and psychological pressure due to the inordinate delay in clearing different cases in different courts and felt that it is pertinent for the Government to take corrective measures to ensure quick disposal of cases pending in different courts in the State in the best interest of the people for whom Government stands to give justice. He asked what corrective measures, Government would like to take from now on to give justice to the affected people ?

        The mover of the cut motion also pointed out that no. of Government cases have not been disposed due to delay  in payment of fees to the Government pleaders, which has resulted in the postponement of court cases from time to time and desired to know what action Government will take to clear those outstanding bills to Government pleaders. He suggested the revival of the traditional system of administration of justice being practiced in the past as enshrined under Para 4 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India and that all  cases should be tried in the Village Courts appointed by the District Councils except in cases which fall under Para 5 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. He said that so far Government has sidelined the very process of administration of justice and in order to strengthen the moral values, such village courts should be revived otherwise he felt it may tantamount to violation of the provision of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. Further, he mentioned that there has been overlapping in the process of administration of justice because of the attitude of the Government to approach the police station instead of traditional institutions and because of the infringement of the police into the jurisdiction of traditional institutions and requested the Government to come with a specific assurance to revive the traditional courts.

        Shri A.D. Marak, Shri C.B. Marak, Shri T.N. Marak, Shri T.C. Lyngdoh and Shri J.D. Rymbai supported the cut motion.

        Replying to the points raised by the mover, Shri E.K. Mawlong, Chief Minister, stated that the Government till today is assuring high regard and respect to the traditional institutions and that these traditional institutions and subordinate courts of the District Councils are being recognised by the District Councils and whether they are Syiem, Doloi, Sirdars or Laskars they are empowered to try cases inspite of the fact that the small and petty cases are being tried by the subordinate courts. However, he said that village courts are being taken care of by the District Councils and that since they are appointed and recognised by the District Councils, they are directly under the purview and jurisdiction of the respective District Councils. As regards clashes and infringement with the traditional institutions, the Chief Minister apprised the hon. mover and the participants that this matter will be looked into examined and that in order to strengthen these traditional institutions, the Government is fully seized of the issue and that is contemplating to appoint a Commission to look into the problems faced by the traditional institutions to study what best could be done in consultation with the District Councils.

        With regard to pending cases, he said that it was true that there are many cases remaining indisposed for a number of years. However, he pointed out that this does not confine to one district only but is a national phenomenon and that Government is exercising its mind to as far as practicable to separate the Judiciary from the Executive.

        The Chief Minister, based on the information which he had received presented the number of pending cases remaining undisposed in different court in the State district wise and told the House that besides the Courts, Lok Adalat has become an established Institution under the Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority and it is being headed by an Executive Chairman, the retired judge of Gauhati High Court, Shri T.C. Das whereby a good number of cases have been resolved because lawyers of both sides including clients have come forward. As regard the number of Government, cases won and lost so far, he said that a cell would be created to compile all the information on different cases, nature of cases, the latest position of these cases etc.

        He also gave detailed figure of expenses on fees and T.A. paid to the Government Pleaders till date and the latest position on the shifting of the existing Shillong Bench of Gauhati High Court's Building to the other site.

        To the point raise by the hon. Member from Jirang, he stated the information would be called for from the concerned Deputy Commissioner and the matter will be looked into and examined by the Government. He further replied to clarification sought for by the mover. The cut motion was ultimately, withdrew by the mover Grant No.4 was passed.

        Shri H.S. Lyngdoh did not move his cut motion to Grant No.5 and hence, this Grant was passed by the House.

        Shri H.B. Dan, Minister in-charge Revenue, moved Grant No. 6.

        Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, moved his cut motion to this Grant and discussed at length on the functioning of the department.

        He criticised the Government for the lack of attitude in properly demarcating the boundaries all the stretch of land bordering Bangladesh and Assam as a result of which, there had been large scale encroachment by the Bangladeshis and Assam police in the villages along the border for extracting timbers and other mineral resources from villages in West Khasi Hills District. The mover cited an example as to what has happened in Pyrdiwah in the recent past and blamed the Central and State Government for their callousness to instruct the B.S.F. to take precautionary measures in time. Further he mentioned of shops and stalls belonging to outsiders in the place along the bank of Pynthorumkhrah river and Polo Bazar and wanted to know what action Government will take to demarcate those lands and suggested streamlining of the Revenue Department.

        Other participants included (1) Shri R.G. Lyngdoh (2) Shri D.D. Lapang, Leader of Opposition (3) Dr. Mukul Sangma (4) Shri C.R. Marak (5) Shri J.D. Rymbai (6) Shri F.W. Momin (7) Shri K.C. Boro (8) Shri T.N. Marak and (9) Shri T.C. Lyngdoh. All of them supported the cut motion.

        Since the time was up, Shri T.C. Lyngdoh's discussion on the cut motion remains inconclusive, he will continue on the next day.


        The House rose at 2 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the 26th June, 2001.


Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.