District Council in Shillong introduces bill to penalise non-tribals claiming to be Khasi tribals; culprits can face jail term of 3 years

Shillong: A bill was introduced in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), on the first day of its winter session on Tuesday to penalise non-tribals who claim to be tribals.

The KHADC Chief Executive Member HS Shylla placed the bill before the council at the council's chamber.

The bill is called the Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Khasi Social Custom of Clan Administration) Bill, 2018.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

According to the bill, a non-tribal claiming to be a member of the Khasi tribe by taking a Khasi surname within the jurisdiction of the KHADC, for economic and personal interests, will face a jail term of three years along with a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.

The KHADC is one of the three tribal councils in Meghalaya and one of 14 autonomous regions in the country formed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

"It is expedient to provide a law for the proper administration of clans (Kur) in order to conserve and grow the traditional matrilineal system of the Khasi society for the protection of their interest...," a statement of the bill signed by Shylla said.

The statement also mentioned that the bill also aims to prevent the claims of Khasi status by unscrupulous persons purely for the benefit, concessions or privileges conferred on the Khasi as members of the ST by the Constitution of India.

"A large number of non-Khasi people have been misusing the Khasi Clan system for their personal advantage and self-interests thereby jeopardising and seriously disturbing the social, economic and cultural life of the Khasi people," Shylla said.

The bill is similar to other bills that the Council has passed earlier this year with an aim to protect the sanctity of the Khasi tribes, which strictly follow the matrilineal system.

Earlier this year, KHADC passed the Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) Bill, which strips a Khasi woman of the Scheduled Tribe status upon her marriage to a non-tribal man, and their children will not be able to enjoy the constitutional protections that come with the tribal status.

The bill is under the scrutiny by the Governor of the state and it becomes a law once he will put his signature on it.

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Updated Date: Nov 21, 2018 09:59:56 IST

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