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KHADC chief faces contempt for questioning court

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, Jan 16 � Meghalaya High Court on Wednesday registered a contempt of court case against Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) chief Adelbert Nongrum and two local dailies for allegedly making �derogatory, defamatory and contemptuous� statements on a recent judgement of the Court.

�Let the notice be served through the Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills, along with the copy of the order. Deputy Commissioner is also directed to furnish the service reports within two days by way of affidavit,� the Court ordered.

The Court also stated that the respondents must file their respective show cause on or before January 27 without fail. �No further adjournment will be allowed for the show cause,� the order said.

The case was filed after the KHADC chief reportedly questioned the judegment of the High Court passed by Justice SR Sen on the role of traditional chiefs and stated that traditional chiefs �have no power to issue any kind of certificate unless empowered by rule or laws�.

It was also ruled that headmen shouldn�t interfere with the administration and must concentrate on social development activities of their locality.

Piqued with the judgement, the KHADC chief reportedly said that he suspected a �hidden agenda against the indigenous community� behind the judgement, which was published in the local dailies.

The Court said in its order that a judge does not have any �caste, religion, language or personal agenda� while passing a judgement and the ruling was passed to provide �justice, ensure rule of law and upholding the dignity of the Constitution.�

The Court said that the KHADC chief through his statements was trying to �lower the image of the judiciary and had thrown an open challenge to the judiciary.� Further adding that Nongrum was trying to �instigate and mislead� the people for reasons best known to him.

�If anyone is not satisfied with any judgment, he has the right to make an appeal but he has no business to challenge the judiciary or to give any kind of derogatory or defamatory statement against any Judge in particular or against institution in general,� Justice Sen said.

Meanwhile, the Registrar General of the Court was asked to register the case under Article 215, 266 of the Indian Constitution and the Contempt of Court Act, 1971.

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