3 non-ST MACs election to KAAC challenged ; Trio appears in court; PIL accuses violation 6th Schedule to Constitution

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HT Bureau

DIPHU, Aug 9: Three members of autonomous council (MACs), including an executive member (EM) of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) had to appear before the court of the district judge here on Thursday as their election to the council was challenged in the court.

The MACs Pawan Kumar Rai (Kapali MAC constituency), Mukut Mahanta (Deopani) and Madhuriya Dekhial Phukon (Bokajan) appeared before the court, which has fixed September 15 as the next date of hearing of the case.

Among them Madhuriya Dekhial Phukon is an EM of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) and in charge of cooperative and soil conservation department.

The district court has registered a case against the three MACs following the directive of Raj Bhawan in Guwahati on the basis of a petition filed by four individuals before the Governor challenging the candidatures of the MACs in the elections.

In the petition filed by four individuals, including Dhonsing Dera, Dhaneswar Rongphar and Pranjal Kro alleged that the three non-ST (Hills) candidates were elected to the council during the elections to the KAAC conducted in June 2017 violating the provisions of Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India. “According to the Sixth schedule, only ST(H) candidate can contest the elections to the council,” the petition said.

The petitioner Dhonsing Dera alleged that he had filed a complaint before the returning officer against Pawan Kr. Rai, who contested the elections from Kapili MAC constituency on BJP ticket stating that he is not from the ST(Hills) community.

Another petitioner Pranjal Kro had lodged a complaint before the returning officer in Bokajan constituency alleging that Madhuriya Dekhial Phukon is not from the ST(Hills) community while the third petitioner Chandra Teron also lodged a similar complaint against Mukut Mahanta for contesting the poll from Deopani constituency in BJP ticket.

After the electoral process was over, the petitioners Dera and Rongphar filed a public interest litigation (PIL) before the Gauhati High Court, which placed the matter before the Governor of Assam.

The Governor has referred the case to the district court, Diphu, which asked the three MACs to appear before it on Thursday.

During appearance, EM and East Karbi Anglong BJP president Rattan Teron accompanied the trio to the court.

“The court will hear the case on September 15,” lawyer of Gauhati High Court, Manas Sarania informed The Hills Times.

Later, EM Phukan told reporters that no one can go against law of the land and so the court would deliver a fair judgment on the matter.

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