Headmen get power to issue certificates to residents
SHILLONG: Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan on Friday gave his nod to the Meghalaya Local Administration (Empowerment of Traditional Institutions, Traditional Bodies, and Headmen in Governance and Public Delivery System) Ordinance, 2015.
With this development, the headmen or as the case may be, the traditional institutions or traditional bodies, are once again empowered to issue certificates to residents of the village or locality within their respective jurisdictions.
The Ordinance also stipulates that the State Government may, by notification in the official gazette to be issued from time to time, fix the rate of fees to be realized by traditional institutions, traditional bodies or the headmen for the certificates issued by them, and further specifies that a certificate must be issued to a resident within five days.
The Ordinance also specifies that no headman can refuse to issue any certificate without reasonable opportunity being given to the resident for their plea to be heard, and in the event of refusal, the headman would have to communicate in writing within a period of five days intimating the grounds and reasons for such refusal.
The Ordinance empowers every resident to appeal to the respective SDO or the deputy commissioner against any decision of refusal or otherwise by the headman and such appeals must be disposed off within a period of three working days.
As per the Ordinance, no suit or legal proceeding shall lie against the headman or the traditional institutions and traditional bodies or any officer or employee as authorized by the Ordinance to discharge such functions for anything done or intended to be done in pursuance of the Ordinance or any notification or rule made thereafter.
The Ordinance has to be placed in the Assembly within the next six months.
After the Meghalaya Cabinet, on May 11, approved the Ordinance, it was sent to the Governor for approval but the Governor had returned it citing procedural flaws.