Sunday, May 19, 2024

Kudos Meghalaya police!


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Lately, an innocent non-tribal laborer was killed in one of the outskirts of Shillong by unknown people who had their faces well-covered, hence unrecognizable. I, for one, would like to pat on the back to the Meghalaya police in arresting, in a jiffy, the alleged offenders and they are booked under stringent penal codes. This yeoman’s service of the intelligence wing of the police must have hugely let our non-tribals brethren to heave a huge sigh of relief at that.
Coincidentally, it may bear to recall that a few years ago in a riot at Ichamati village of East Khasi Hills District, bordering Bangladesh when one of the NGOs was holding a meeting opposing CCA, if I am not mistaken, we saw through the social media platforms that non-tribals,in hordes, came out wielding sticks, iron rods etc., in hands to attack the NGO and in that fatal commotion a Khasi youth was unfortunately bludgeoned to death. And in sequel to that incident a few non-tribals have reportedly been brought to book but many more had literally vanished into thin air. 0ddly, the arrested accused’s names have not been disclosed, perhaps for security reasons?
Now, while analyzing the two foregoing incidents, I have been reportedly given to understand that in the first case the victim’s family received a sum of five lakhs as compensation, and, contrastingly,in the second instance the victim’s family could collect only two lakh rupees. Hence, why such a glaring discrimination between tribals vis-a-vis non-tribals. Additionally, why names of those arrested non-tribals were not exposed while that of Hynñiewtrep youths were published in the media. I thought what’s sauce for goose is sauce for the gander!
Yours etc.,
Jerome K Diengdoh,

Need to revisit stamp duty for registration of Gift Deed
The Indian Registration Act, 1908 regulates the registration of deeds and documents throughout India. Section 17 of the Act provides compulsory registration of certain documents. The Government of Meghalaya vide Notification No. ERT (T) 62/81/11 Dated 22nd July 1982 had made the Indian Registration Act, 1908 applicable in the whole of Meghalaya on and from the 1st day of September, 1982. Hence, after 01-09-1982 in Meghalaya it is mandatory to register deeds and documents which are required by law to be registered.
To register any deed or documents inter alia one needs to pay the requisite stamp duty and registration fees. These charges keep getting revised from time to time, depending upon the land rates and various other factors. The rate of stamp duty and registration fee varies in different states. In case of sale, mortgage, lease and other mode of transfer of property, the requirement to pay stamp duty at the prescribed rate on the market value of the property seems to be justified, but not in case of a gift deed.
Registration is compulsory for a gift deed of immovable property. Gift of immovable property are generally made among the family members or within blood relations and it is made out of natural love and affection without involving any monetary consideration unlike sale and other mode of transfer. In case of an execution of gift deed, the donor is not earning any monetary benefit hence payment of stamp duty at the specified rate on the market value of the property seems to be very unjust. This causes huge financial burden on the donor for the reason that in case of gift deed the donor pays the requisite stamp duty and the registration fees.
In rural areas, there are many people who may own big plots of land but financially they may not be sound. In our Khasi society there are instances where the individuals had inherited property by customary practice. Such individuals, if they intend to gift out a portion of the property to their respective children for their use, find it extremely difficult to get the gift deed registered because of their inability to pay the stamp duty based on the existing market value of the property. Hence, such individuals prefer to execute unregistered gift deed and sometimes such gift deeds are executed in the presence of family members. But in most of the cases, such gift deeds are executed before the members of the Dorbar Shnong under a misconception that execution of gift deed before the members of the Dorbar Shnong holds good and valid for all purposes. However, such unregistered gift deeds have no legal value and the same are unacceptable for availing loans from banking institutions, sale, mortgage etc.
To encourage the public to register gift deeds among family members several state governments in India had reduced the stamp duty and in some states the stamp duty for gift deed is as low as 0.5% of the market value of the property; in some states the stamp duty is fixed below Rs 10,000.
Meghalaya Government needs to ponder on the above issue and do the needful to waive the stamp duty on registration of gift deed within family members or blood relations by fixing a minimum fee for registration of such deeds. This will perhaps go a long way to redress the issue of registration of gift deeds of immovable property which has large public ramifications
Yours etc.,
Aneeta Synrem

Appointment of DGP
With reference to the news, “The best candidate will be appointed DGP: Deputy Chief Minister” (ST May 11, 2024) it may be recalled that in the Prakash Singh Case 2006, the Supreme Court issued seven directives to drive police reforms in India, acknowledging widespread issues such as politicization, lack of accountability, and systemic weaknesses impacting overall police performance. The seven directives are:
1. Constitute a State Security Commission.
2. Fixed two-years tenure for DGP.
3. Two-year term for SPs and SHOs
4. Separate investigation and L&O functions.
5. Set up Police Establishment Board
6. Set up Police Complaints Authorities at State and District levels.
7. Set Up National Security Commission at Centre level.
As far as the second directive is concerned it is to ensure the appointment of DGP through a transparent, merit-based process, ensuring a minimum tenure of two years. The Committee to appoint the State DGP is headed by the Chairman, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and includes the Union Home Secretary, the State’s Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, and one of the heads of the Central Armed Police Forces nominated by the Ministry of Home Affairs who is not from the same State cadre.
As far as the procedure of selection is concerned, the State governments concerned have to send to UPSC the names of the probable candidates three months before the incumbent DGP is to retire. The UPSC will prepare a panel of three officers’ to be DGP and send it back. The State, in turn, shall appoint one of the persons shortlisted by the Union Public Service Commission. The names of three IPS officers have been shortlisted by the UPSC for Meghalaya. It is now for the State government to do its part as per government procedures keeping in view what the Model Code of Conduct stipulates as far as the “continuation of regular processes” is concerned, so that we have a DGP for Meghalaya very soon once the incumbent DGP superannuates or demits office on May 19. It is heartening that the Deputy Chief minister assured the people that the government will select the best officer as the Director General of Police, Meghalaya.
Yours etc;
VK Lyngdoh,
Via email


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