Cabinet gives more teeth to MMPO Act

Lokayukta Act amendment cleared

Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma and his colleagues attend a Cabinet meeting at Main Secretariat in city on Thursday. (ST)

SHILLONG: The State Cabinet has approved the amendment of the ‘Meghalaya Maintenance of Public Order (MMPO), Assam Act 1947 adopted by the state making its enforcement more “effective”.

“We have included two more sections – 6 (b) and 6 (c) to the existing 6 (a) of the MMPO Act which was approved by the cabinet,” said Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh, who is in charge of law department, after a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The timing of bringing amendments to the Act assumes significance since pro-ILP groups in the State are calling for various kinds of agitations including bandhs, road blockades and office picketing to press for their demands.

Later, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma said the Act needs to be given more character for ensuring effective enforcement of the law.

“The inclusion of the additional sections (section 6 (b) and (c) is expected to increase the effectiveness of the law as well as strengthening the enforcement mechanism,” he said while adding that the amendment of the Act is in line with the Supreme Court and High Court rulings banning bandh, strike and other forms of agitations.

Lokayukta Act amendment: The State Cabinet on Thursday approved the amendment of the Meghalaya Lokayukta Act 2013.

The Chief Minister said the Act was passed in December last year as an offshoot of government’s commitment to ensure that it embarks upon all measures for effective and accountable governance.

Several NGOs of the State earlier sought amendments to the Act to give the Bill more teeth to tackle corruption.

According to Dr Sangma, the Bill was once amended based on the communication of the Governor, and only those observations of the Governor were included in the amended Act.

The amendments would be tabled in the House for discussions and deliberations during its Autumn session starting from October 4.

Pvt varsity Act: In another decision, the cabinet approved the amendment of the acts pertaining to setting up of two self-financed private universities – University of Technology and Management (UTM) and the Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU).

“Like has been done in other private universities, we have proposed an amendment to make the State Governor the Visitor of these two universities,” Deputy Chief Minister in-charge of Education Dr RC Laloo said.