U. MESINGH SYIEM Vs. SECRETARY, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE DISTRICT COUNCIL OF THE AUTONOMOUS DISTRICT OF KHASI AND JAINTIA HILLS AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
U. Mesingh Syiem
Secretary, Executive Committee Of The District Council Of The Autonomous District Of Khasi And Jaintia Hills And Ors.
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M.C. Pathak, J. -
(1.) THIS is an application Articles 226 / 227 of the Constitution for quashing the notice dated 16 -5 -d by the Secretary, Executive committee, District Council, United Khasl and jaintia Hills, Shillong, requiring the the electoral body for the election of the Syiem of Sohrah (Cherra) to appear before the Executive Member in charge; of Rural Administration in the office of the Syiem of Sohrah. (Cherra) for recording their votes to elect the Syiem in place of late U. Join Manik Syiem and for issuing a direction to the Executive Committee not to give effect to that Purwana and also for a direction to the Executive Committee to publish the result of the election held on 14 -3 -1966 and to place the same before the District Council for approval.
(2.) THE facts of the case are as follows: Before the Independence of India, Syiem -ship of Cherra was a semi -independent State under the suzerainty of the British Crown. After Independence of India there was a standstill agreement and with the commencement of the Constitution this State as well as the other States in the Khasi Hills got merged into the State of Assam. Thereafter the merged States in the Khasi Hills form ed into an Autonomous District, namely United Khasi and Jaintia Hills for the purposes mentioned in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, hereinafter called 'the Sixth Schedule'. In exercise of the powers under paragraph 3 of the Sixth Schedule, the District Council passed the United Khasi -Jaintia Hills Autonomous District (Appointment and Succession of Chiefs and Headmen) Act, 1959 (United Khasi -Jaintia Hills Act No II of 1959), hereinafter called 'the Act'. This Act received the assent of the Governor of Assam on the 16th October 1959 and was published in the Assam Gazette dated 28th October 1959, in pursuance of paragraph II of the Sixth Schedule, It is submitted at the Bar that no rules have been framed up -till now under this Act.
(3.) THE Petitioner's case is that under the' existing custom prevalent in the Elaka concerned, the Syiem of Cherra is to be elected by an electoral college from among such members of the Syiem clan as may contest for the syiemship. One who is not a member of the Syiem clan is not eligible to contest for the office. Shri Join Manik, the Syiem of Cherra, died in July 1963 and the District Council appointed Shri Rudramanilc, the acting Syiem, under the Act. By a Parwana dated 8 -1 -1966 the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the District Council called upon the electoral college to elect a Syiem within thirty days to fill up the vacancy caused by the death of Sri Join Manik. The names of the members of the electoral college were also put in the said Purwana. It was also stated in the said Purwana that the District Council reserved the absolute discretion to reject or to accept any nominee offered by the electors and that his office as Syiem would not be valid and complete until it has been expressly approved by the District Council.;
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