FORCHING RAVA AND ORS. Vs. THE STATE
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Forching Rava And Ors.
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Thadani, J. -
(1.) THIS is an application by one Forching Rava and 5 others under the provisions of Section 526 of the Code of Criminal Procedure praying for a transfer of the case pending against them before the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Shilling to a Court of competent jurisdiction at Gauhati on the ground of the convenience of the parties.
(2.) THE offence of dacoit for which the petitioners are being prosecuted, is said to have taken place within the territorial limits of the Khasi Hills. Mr. Das for the petitioners contends that with effect from the 26th of January, 1950, the Code of Criminal Procedure is in force in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills, and that the order passed by the Governor of Assam on 25.1.50 for the administration of justice in the Khasi States, no longer governs the trial of an offence committed within the Khasi States. He has pointed out that the order made by the Governor of Assam on 25.1.50 was made in pursuance of the powers conferred by Section 4 of the Extra Provincial Jurisdiction Act, 1947, as delegated to him by the Government of India in the Ministry of States by their notification No. 335 -I.B ., dated 2.11.48, - an Act which cannot be regarded as being in force on and after 26.1.50, having regard to the fact that the Khasi States, after 26.1.50, are part of the territory of Assam. It is unnecessary, in the facts of this case, to express our view as to whether the Governor of Assam, after 26.1.50, could or could not exercise the powers conferred by Section 4 of the Extra Provincial Jurisdiction Act, 1947, for, the order made by the Governor of Assam relating to the administration of justice in the Khasi States was made a day before the Constitution of India came into force. The question for our consideration is whether the order made by the Governor of Assam on 25.1.1950 governs the procedure to be followed in the present case. We think does.
(3.) PARAGRAPH 20 of the 6th Schedule to the Constitution of India describes what are tribal areas. Tribal areas are the areas specified in parts A and B of the table contained in the 6th Schedule. The United Khasi -Jaintia Hills District is mentioned in part A of the table, as a tribal area. Paragraph 19 of the 6th Schedule contains transitional provisions with regard to the administration of the areas described in the 6th Schedule. Clause (b) of paragraph 19 says:
the Governor may make regulations for the peace and good government of any such area and any regulations so made may repeal or amend any Act of Parliament or of the Legislature of the State or any existing law which is for the time being applicable to such area.
It is not disputed that the order made by the Governor of Assam on 25.1.50 is to be regarded as an existing law applicable to the Khasi States. This order, as far as we know, has not been repealed or amended by the Governor of Assam after the Constitution oil India came into force. The administration of criminal justice, therefore, in the Khasi States must be governed by the order made by the Governor of Assam on 25.1.1950.;
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