The Meghalaya governor conveyed to the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) CEM and chairman that the functioning of the district council being an autonomous body should not be interfered with.
A list of four MDCs was submitted to the governor who would be inducted as executive members (EMs) of the new Executive Committee, being led by the new CEM.
The final list of MDCs who would be inducted as EMs would be submitted to the governor soon.
“It was a courtesy visit after the election of the CEM, and after the governor has approved the name of the new CEM,” KHADC chairman Syiem told reporters after coming out of the Raj Bhavan on Thursday evening.
Syiem was delighted as the governor made it clear that there is no need to interfere with the district council because it is an autonomous body which functions according to rules that are there in the Assam and Meghalaya Constitution of Autonomous District Council Rules, 1951 (as amended), and according to the provisions of the Sixth Schedule in Article 244 (2).
“At the same time, with regard to the list of MDCs to be inducted as EMs, the governor will go as per rules of the Assam and Meghalaya Constitution of Autonomous District Council Rules 1951 (as amended),” Syiem said.
Whether the district council will work only with the office of the governor without routing through the District Council Affairs (DCA) of the state government, Syiem said, “The rules will remain as rules, and we cannot go by wrong conventions and practices.”
“As appeared in the Sixth Schedule and the Assam and Meghalaya Constitution of Autonomous District Council Rules 1951 (as amended), we have to stick to the rules,” Syiem said.
Commenting on Article 163, Syiem said in the states having no district councils, the issue is different, but in states that have district councils, “we have to go as per Article 244 (2) and see what it says”.
“But even in Article 163 clause 2, it talks about the discretionary power of the governor. This means that the governor will exercise his discretionary power when it comes to matters related to the district councils as mentioned in the Sixth Schedule and Article 244 (2),” he added.
When asked why all these years these rules were not followed, the KHADC chairman said, “This is the question we are also asking. In fact the DCA is only a department in which the governor appoints any minister to look after the welfare.”
“They cannot direct us (district councils) and I think from now on, we have to go as per rules,” he said.
Whether the CEM should be notified by the government, Syiem asked, “In which rules it says that without the notification of the government, you are not the CEM? There is no rule which states that as long as the government has not notified the CEM, he is not the CEM.”
On bills passed by the Council, Syiem said Rule 93 sub-rule 2 has stated clearly that any kind of amendments that did not need the assent of the Governor, should be sent to the DCA.