Exempt whole of Meghalaya from Citizenship Act: Pala to Modi

Shillong, Dec 13: Congress MP from Shillong Vincent H Pala on Friday sought the intervention of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exempt the entire state of Meghalaya from the purview of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

“…I request you to extend the exemption from the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 to all regions of the state of Meghalaya,” Pala said in a memorandum to Modi.

Stating that the Act exempts the regions covered under the Sixth Schedule from its ambit, he said this exemption covers about 97% of the region, leaving parts of Shillong.

He also brought to the notice of the PM of a 1975 Supreme Court judgment in the case of The District Council, United Khasi Jaintia Hills, Shillong v. Ka Drepsila Lyngdoh, in order to show the entire state’s eligibility of being kept out of the purview of this Act.

In the aforementioned case, there was a dispute between the parties regarding whether or not the jurisdiction of the District Council extended to the Bara Bazar Area in Village Mawkhar in Shillong.

The High Court declared Bara Bazar to be a part of the Shillong municipality based on a notification showing that Mawkhar and certain other villages were ceded to the British Government by the Siem of Mylliem, he said.

Pala also said the Supreme Court however opposed the decision based on the argument that the Syiem of Mylliem ceded the villages for the specified purpose of municipal administration only and that the villages were never included within the territorial jurisdiction of the Shillong Municipality.

“This judgment assumes significance in the context of the jurisdiction of the Khasi Hills District Council Courts over the areas or localities in Shillong which are primarily tribal areas but have been ceded or included within the territory of the Shillong Municipal Board for the purpose of Municipal administration only,” the MP stated.