From Eric Calvin Ranee
NONGPOH: Reminding people of their fundamental duties, the Acting Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court T Nandakumar has exhorted the masses to abjure violence and safeguard public property to uphold integrity of the nation.
He said people were conscious of their fundamental rights but they should also remember their fundamental duties as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
He was addressing a gathering at the deputy commissioner’s office complex here after jointly laying the foundation of the District & Sessions Judge Court with Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma.
Justice Nandakumar’s speech assumes significance in view of Monday’s 12-hour Meghalaya bandh called by several pressure groups demanding implementation of Inner-line permit (ILP) in the State.
Both Justice Nandakumar and Dr Sangma also jointly inaugurated the District & Session Judges Court here.
Stating that separation of judiciary from executive was the need of the hour, the Acting Chief Justice said the executive officers comprising deputy commissioners and his assistants were overburdened with law and order duties as well as developmental works coupled with judicial works.
He hoped that with the inauguration of the district and session court in Ri Bhoi district, the executive officers could now focus on administration and maintenance of law and order.
Informing that the state has 38 legal aid clinics so far and another 17 would be opened shortly, Justice Nandakumar called upon people to come to these clinics for attending to their legal needs.
Referring to Autonomous District Council (ADC) courts, he stressed on codification of traditional customary laws for ensuring effective delivery of justice.
The District and Sessions Judge Court in Nongpoh would be the first of the four to come up in Ri Bhoi, East Khasi Hills, West Jaintia Hills and West Garo Hills.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Sangma said good governance can happen only when there is order in the State which can facilitate the effective mechanism of administration of justice.
He said his party would fulfill the promise of making Meghalaya a poverty-free state by the next 20 years.
Underlining the need of reforming the police department, Dr Sangma said the government has proposed to increase manpower of police stations from 18 to 80 and police outpost from 8 to 40.
Others who spoke include Meghalaya High Court Judge, Justice S R Sen, Chief Adviser to Government, DD Lapang.
The inauguration of the District and Sessions Court is in line with the State Government’s decision to separate the Judiciary from the Executive. In time, the government plans to cover all the districts of the State.
It may be mentioned that the KSU had criticised the government’s decision to overlook West Khasi Hills while deciding on the list of districts slated to have the District and Sessions Judge Court.