KHADC to recall Khasi lineage amendment bills

SHILLONG: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council will recall both the amendment bills of the social custom of lineage act.
The council’s chief executive member, HS Shylla, told reporters on Tuesday that the executive committee of the KHADC decided to recall both the KHAD (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) (First and Second Amendment) Bills.
The first amendment bill was in 2015 and the second in 2018.
“In the first amendment bill, we found a loophole in which the Bill mentioned the appointment and powers of Rangbah Kur (headman) in the same Lineage Act of 1997,” he said, adding that though the head of clan should be mentioned in the Lineage Act the appointment, powers and functions of the Rangbah Kur should be enacted in another act for which the executive committee is preparing a bill.
“We have to pass it as an Executive Order,” Shylla said.
As for the Second Amendment Bill passed recently, Shylla said contradictory clauses in it will be deleted.
“The previous clause will not be there after the insertion of the new clause and the other contradictory clauses will be deleted,” he said.
The KHADC amended Section 3 of the principal act. After the existing Section 3 (c), a new sub-section 3 (d) has been inserted which states, “Any Khasi woman who marries a non-Khasi as well as her offspring(s) born out of such marriage(s) shall be deemed as non-Khasi who shall lose the Khasi status and all the privileges and benefits as a member of the Khasi tribe who cannot claim preferential privileges under any law.”
According to Shylla, the previous section states that every person born of a legal marriage whose mother is/was a Khasi, and the father a non-Khasi, “shall be a Khasi of the Kur, jait or clan of the Khasi mother if and only if the person and his/her Khasi mother fulfil certain requirements, no longer stands”.
In this connection, a consultative committee has been constituted to look into the issues involving the Khasi Lineage Act 1997.
The KHADC chief downplayed arguments that the bill was passed in haste as issues of mixed marriage, which Shylla termed as a “disease”, was discussed even before 1925.
“Later, leader of CPI also wrote about mixed marriages. In other society, it may not affect since they are not matrilineal,” he added.
Once the bill comes back to KHADC from the government, the executive committee will call a special session to pass the new amendment bill after it is sent to the consultative committee.
“On August 16, the KHADC will write to DCA to recall the bill,” he said.
Asked on the argument of discrimination, he said, “Among men, we have seen mixed marriage is prevalent but we see no such issue on this. We will collect more facts on the arguments of discrimination of the Bill and the EC will discuss on that.”

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