Rules for the Administration of Justice and Police in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills, 1937
Published vide Notification No. 2681-A.P., vide Meghalaya Act No. 6 of 1972 with effect from 22-2-1972
Last Updated 19th February, 2020 [meg025]
General1. Extent of Rules. - The rules extend to the whole of the United [Khasi Hills District and Jaintia Hills District] excluding the areas which were known as the Khasi states before the commencement of the Constitution of India. 1A. Power of Governor to appoint Additional Deputy Commissioner. - The Governor may, when he thinks fit, appoint an Additional Deputy Commissioner either generally, or for the trial of a particular case or particular cases, civil and criminal, and may direct that such Additional Deputy Commissioner shall, for the general or special purpose aforesaid, exercise all or any of the powers of the Deputy Commissioner. 1B. Power of High Court to transfer original cases. - The High Court may, for any reason which it considers proper, transfer any original case, whether civil or criminal, at any stage when it is pending or under trial before any Court, to any other Court competent to try it.
Police2. Police of Khasi and Jaintia Hills. - The Police of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills shall consist of-
(a) Regular police subject to Act V of 1861;
(b) Rural Police, consisting of sardars, dolois, pators, lyngdohs and other village authorities recognised as such by the Deputy Commissioner.3. Control of Rural Police. - The control of the rural police in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills is vested in the Deputy Commissioner acting under the orders of the Governor (and on such other officers as the Governor may from time to time appoint). Misconduct on the part of rural police is punishable by dismissal or by fine which may amount of Rs. 500 or by punishment to an extent which would be awardable under the Penal Code for a like offence. Imprisonment may be awarded in lieu of fine, but only by the Deputy Commissioner or other officers duly authorised. 4. Rural Police, how deemed. - Rural police shall not be deemed to be Police Officers for the purposes of Section 25 and Section 26 of the Indian Evidence Act or Section 162 of Criminal Procedure Code. 5. Appeal from orders of Village Authorities. - An appeal lies from all order of sardars, dolois and other chief village authorities in police matters to the Deputy Commissioner, whose orders are final. But the Governor may call for the proceedings of any officer subordinate to him and modify or reverse any order passed. 6. Regular Police. - The regular police from part of the general police force of the Province under the control of the Inspector-General of Police, Assam; and are subject to the ordinary rules of the police, except in so far as these may be from time to time modified by the Governor or the Inspector General of Police in their application to the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. The Deputy Commissioner shall exercise the powers of a Superintendent of Police [* * *] and the Assistant or Extra Assistant Commissioner, the powers of an Assistant Superintendent of Police. 7. Function of Regular Police. - The regular police shall only act, when required to do so by general or special of the Governor, Deputy Commissioner, or other officer duly authorised, who may assign to the force any portion of the duties of police, under Act V of 1861, in any locality. 8. Ordinary duties of police. - The ordinary duties of Police shall be discharged by the sardars and dolois and other village authorities duly authorised by the Deputy Commissioner. They shall arrest all criminals and repress all disorders within their respective jurisdictions. 9. Report of crime. - It is the duty of the sardars, dolois, and other village authorities to report to the Deputy Commissioner all crimes, violent deaths, or serious accidents occurring in their districts, and all occurrences whether within or beyond their jurisdictions, which may come to their knowledge, likely to affect the public peace, at the earliest possible moment and to try them as soon as may be within a period of twenty-four hours of arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the Court of such officer. 10. Duties of Sardars, Dolois and other Village Authorities. - The sardars, dolois, and other village authorities shall watch and report and in every emergent case may apprehend and deliver up vagrants, or bad and suspicious characters found in their jurisdictions, as soon as may be, within a period of twenty-four hours of arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the Court of an officer authorised to take cognizance. 11. Arrest and report and criminals. - On the occurrence of any heinous crime in his district, any village officer, who may be by custom or appointment charged with the duty of arresting criminals, shall at once apprehend the offender, if able, and in any case at once report to the sardar of doloi, or other chief village authority who, if the offender has not been apprehended, will proceed without delay to the place where the crime occurred and enquire into the matter. II a crime beyond his cognizance has been committed, he will immediately report it to the Deputy Commissioner or other dully authorised officer, whether the offender has been apprehended or not. 12. jurisdiction of Village Authorities to arrest criminals. - Sardars, dolois and other village authorities may pursue with hue and cry and apprehend an offender fleeing beyond their jurisdiction and arrest him, but ordinarily no sardar, doloi, or village authority shall attempt to arrest an offender beyond his own jurisdiction without the cognizance and co-operation of the sardar, doloi or chief village authority of the village to which the offender has fled. When an offender is traced from one village to another, it will be sufficient to point him out to the sardar, doloi or other competent authority of the village to which the offender has fled, and request him to make the arrest. 13. Grant of aid Village Authorities. - When the sardars, dolois or other chief village authorities feel unable to arrest an offender, they must apply to the Deputy Commissioner, or any officer duly authorized, to grant them such aid as he or such officer may consider necessary. 14. Power of Village Authorities to arrest. - When the sardars, dolois or other chief village authorities feel unable to arrest an offender, they must apply to the Deputy Commissioner, or any officer duly authorized, to grant them such aid as he or such officer may consider necessary. 14. Power of Village Authorities to arrest. - The sardars, dolois, and other chief village authorities are empowered to arrest or cause to be arrested, and may also fine, all drunkards and other disorderly persons found brawling out of their houses, and all persons found gambling; the fine not to exceed that awardable under their powers in criminal matters as hereinafter defined. 15. Inhabitants' duties to aid regular police. - All the inhabitants of the Khasi anti jaintia Hills are bound to aid the regular police and village authorities, when required to do so in the maintenance of order, or the apprehension of offenders Any person failing to do so is liable to fine, the fine to be adjudged by the sardar, doloi, or other chief village authority, to the extent he is empowered to award in criminal cases or by the Deputy Commissioner if fine beyond the amount the village authorities are authorised to impose is considered necessary. When the particular persons blamable for failure to aid in any community cannot be ascertained, the sardar, doloi or chief village authority shall be considered responsible, and if it appears that the community is to blame and that particular offenders cannot be discovered, a fine may be imposed upon the community, but by the Deputy Commissioner only.
Criminal Justice16. Administration of criminal justice. - Criminal justice shall be ordinarily administered by the Deputy Commissioner, his Assistants, and by the sardars, dolois, and other chief village authorities of the different communities. 17. Power to Deputy Commissioner to pass sentence in original cases and revisional powers of High Court or Deputy Commissioner. - The Deputy Commissioner shall be competent to pass sentence of death, transportation, or imprisonment up to the maximum amount provided for the offence, or whipping and of a fine up to any amount: Provided that all sentences of death, transportation or imprisonment of seven years and upwards shall be subject, to the confirmation by the High Court of Assam, hereinafter referred to as the High Court. The High Court or Deputy Commissioner may call for the proceedings of any other subordinate to him and reduce, enhance or cancel any sentence passed or remand the case for re-trial, but no offender shall be punished by a sentence exceeding that awardable under the Indian Penal Code Assistants to the Deputy Commissioner shall, exercise such powers, not exceeding those of a Magistrate of the First Class as defined the Criminal Procedure Code as they may be invested with by the Governor. 17A. Death reference. - When the Deputy Commissioner passes sentence of death, the proceeding shall be submitted to the High Court and the sentence shall not be executed unless it is confirmed by the High Court. 17B. Deputy Commissioner to apprise accused regarding appeal. - The Deputy Commissioner shall inform the accused of the period (namely 7 days) within which, if he wishes to appeal, his appeal should be preferred. 17C. Confirmation of sentence etc. - In any case submitted under Rule 17-A the High Court-
(a) may confirm the sentence or pass any other sentence warranted by law, or
(b) may annual the conviction and convict the accused of any offence of which the Deputy Commissioner might have convicted him, or order a new trial on the same or an amended charge, or
(c) may acquit the accused person :Provided that no order of confirmation shall be made under this clause until the period allowed for preferring an appeal has expired, or, if an appeal is presented within such period, until such appeal is disposed of. 17D. Steps on receipt of High Court's orders. - When a sentence of death passed by the Deputy Commissioner is submitted to the High Court for confirmation, the Deputy Commissioner shall, on receiving the order of confirmation or other order of the High Court thereon, cause such order to be carried into effect by issuing a warrant in the form given in Schedule V, No. XXXV of the Criminal Procedure Code, or some similar form, or taking such other steps as may be necessary. 17E. Time and place of execution. - The Deputy Commissioner shall fix the time and place of execution, and the time fixed shall not be less than 21 or more than 28 days from the date of issue of warrant. 18. Provision for disposal of petty cases. - Any sardar, doloi or other chief village authority may be empowered by the Deputy Commissioner to dispose of the cases of persons charged with any of the following offences :
Injury to property not exceeding Rs. 50.
Injury to person not affecting life or limb.
Theft.They may impose a fine for any offence they are competent to try to the extent of Rs. 50. They may award restitution or compensation to the extent of the injury sustained and enforce it by distraint of the property of the offender. In cases in which the fine is not paid or realised either in whole or in part, they shall represent the facts and send in the offenders to the Deputy Commissioner who may re-try the case and impose such other punishment as he is competent to inflict. Each sardar, doloi or other chief village authority who may be empowered as above shall receive a sanad or recognition under the signature of the Deputy Commissioner. 19. Power of village authorities to decide and carry out decisions. - Sardars, dolois or other duly recognised village authorities may carry out their decision or order attachment of property as soon as judgement is pronounced, but in no case is property attached to be sold if the party convicted claims to appeal within eight days, without the orders of the Deputy Commissioner, Sardars, dolois or other duly recognised village authorities may not decide cases-
(a) where the defendant is not a nature of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills or is not resident within their jurisdiction; or
(b) when the offence is one against the State, or has caused death or danger of life, or amounts to robbery or concerns counterfeiting of coin, or making of fraudulent documents, or the like.20. Procedure before village authorities. - The sardars, dolois or other duly recognised village authorities shall decide all cases in open Darbar in presence of at least three witnesses and the complainant and accused, whose attendance they are empowered to compel. Either party may appeal to the Deputy Commissioner or his Assistant within 16 days of the decision, exclusive of the time needed to obtain a copy of the decision. 21. Appeal to Deputy Commissioner. - An appeal lies from the decision of an Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner if preferred within thirty days, exclusive of the time needed to obtain a copy of the decision. Provided that no appeal shall lie against the sentence of fine only passed by a Magistrate of the First Class when the amount of fine does not exceed Rs. 50. 22. Appeal to High Court. - An appeal shall lie to the High Court from any sentence passed by the Deputy Commissioner or Additional Deputy Commissioner. Appeals must be presented within thirty days of the date of the orders appealed against, excluding the time required for procuring a copy of the order : Provided that an appeal from a sentence of death shall be preferred within seven days from the date of sentence. 22A. Government appeal. - The Governor may direct an appeal to be presented to the High Court from an original or appellate order of acquittal passed by any Court other than the High Court. Such an appeal shall be presented within ninety days from the date of the order of acquittal excluding the time needed for obtaining a copy of the order. 23. Application of Criminal Procedure Code. - The procedure of the High Court, and the Deputy Commissioner and his Assistants shall be in the spirit of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as far as it is applicable to the circumstances of the district and consistent with these rules. The Chief exceptions are :
(a) Only verbal order or notice of summons etc. shall be requisite, except when the regular police are employed or the person concerned is not a resident of or in the district at the time; or if in the district, but resident beyond it, where his place of abode is not known. But verbal order or summons shall be for a fixed day, not exceeding sixteen days from that upon which the order is issued, and the order shall be made known to the person affected or to so me adult member of his family or proclaimed at the place he was last known to be at, in sufficient time to allow him, if he sees fit, to appear.
(b) The form prescribed by Section 263 of the Code of Criminal Procedure may be used for all cases specified in Section 260 of that Code by all Officers with First Class powers. In cases requiring a sentence of three years or upwards a full note of the evidence and proceedings must be kept. Examinations and proceedings shall generally be recorded in English only.
(c) The proceedings of sardars and dolois or other duly recognised village authorities need not be in writing, but if at the trial before the village authorities any person who can write can be found, a brief note of the proceedings is to be made.
(d) All fines lived by sardars, dolois or other duly recognised village authorities shall be paid to the Deputy Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner or other officers empowered to receive them, within eight days from the date of realization. The Deputy Commissioner is authorised to pay to those village authorities who give him satisfaction such small stipends as he may think desirable : Provided that the total amount so disbursed shall not exceed the sum of the fines realised by all village authorities during the year.
(e) It shall be discretionary to examine witness on oath in any form, or to warn them that they are liable to be punished for perjury if they state that which they know to be false.For the defence of paupers accused of murder, Rules 19 to 21 of Assam Law Department Manual-Part II-Criminal Rules-shall be followed mutatis mutandis. 23A. Issue of commission. - (1) Whenever, in the course of an inquiry, trial or other proceeding under these rules, it appears of the High Court or the Court of the Deputy Commissioner that the examination of a witness is necessary for the ends of justice, and that the attendance of such witness cannot be procured without an amount of delay, expense or inconvenience which, under the circumstances of the case, would be unreasonable, such Court may dispense with such attendance and may issue a commission for the examination of the witness following the spirit of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. (2) Whenever in the course of an inquiry, trial or other proceeding under these rules before the Court of an Additional Deputy Commissioner, or an Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner, it appears that a commission ought to be issued for the examination of a witness whose evidence is necessary for the ends of justice and that the attendance of such witness cannot be procured without an amount of delay, expense or inconvenience which, under the circumstances of the case, would be unreasonable, such Court shall apply to the Deputy Commissioner stating the reasons for the application and the Deputy Commissioner may either issue a commission or reject the application. 23B. Execution and return of commission. - Whenever a commission for the examination of witness issued under the preceding rule or under any law for the time being in force in the rest of India is received by the Deputy Commissioner, he, or such of his Assistants having the powers of a Magistrate of the First C lass as he may appoint in this behalf, shall execute and return the commission following the spirit of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. 24. Maintenance of register. - The Deputy Commissioner shall keep such Registers and make such returns as may be prescribed by the High Court.
Part B24A. [Omitted]. 24B. Power to suspend or remit punishment. - (a) The President or the Governor may, either upon conditions or without conditions, suspend the execution of any sentence or remit any punishment.
(b) If any sentence has been suspended or remitted upon conditions, and in the opinion of the President or the Governor, as the case may be, those conditions are not fulfilled, the President or the Governor, may cancel the remission and order the sentence to be carried out, and thereupon the person in whose favour the sentence had been suspended or remitted, may, if at large, be arrested by any police officer without warrant and remanded to undergo the unexpired portion of the sentence.24C. Sentence which may be commuted. - The President or the Governor may commute any of the following sentences for any other mentioned after it: death, confiscation of property, imprisonment, whipping, fine.
Civil Rules25. Administration of Civil Justice. - The Administration of Civil justice in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills is entrusted to the Deputy Commissioner, his Assistants, sardars and dolois and other village authorities. 26. Cases which may be tried by village authorities. - Sardars and dolois and other chief village authorities may be recognised by the Deputy Commissioner by sanad under the signature as competent to try cases without limit as to amount, but with the following reservations :
(a) They may not try suits in which their fathers, mothers, sons daughters, uncles, aunts, sisters, brothers, the children of foregoing, their wives or persons in the above relation to a wife, or any near relative or parties nor suits in which a native of the plains, or native of another sardarship or doloiship not resident in their jurisdiction, are parties.
(b) All suits must be decided in open Darbar in the Presence of the parties and at least three respectable witnesses.27. Power of village authorities is compel attendance. - Sardars, dolois and other duly recognised village authorities have power to compel attendance of parties to any suits and their witnesses-all such persons being resident within their own jurisdiction-and to fine within the limit of Rs.50, to persons wilfully falling to attend. They have power to award all costs, also compensation to defendants for unfounded or vexatious suits brought against them. 28. Procedure before village authorities. - All proceedings shall be viva voce and the sardars and dolois, or other duly recognised village authorities shall not be called upon to make either record or registry of their decision. After hearing both parties and their witnesses (if any) they shall, with or without the opinion of assessors, as they think fir, pronounce a decision forthwith. But if, at the trial before the village authorities any person who can write can be found, a brief note of the proceedings is to be made. 29. Procedure of village authorities in giving effect. - Sardars or dolois or other duly recognised village authorities may carry out their decisions at once, and order attachment of property to be made, but in no case is property so attached to be sold if the party claims to appeal within thirty days. 30. Procedure for notice by village authorities. - All notices give by Sardars and dolois, or other duly recognised village authorities to parties or witnesses may be verbal, and for a fixed day not exceeding eight days from the day it is given. If a case a postponed, it shall be fixed for a day not exceeding eight days from the order, and the case may subsequently be adjourned for periods not exceeding eight days on good cause shown. 31. Exercise of original jurisdiction by the Deputy Commissioner and his Assistants. - The Deputy Commissioner and his Assistants shall not ordinarily hear suits triable by sardars and dolois or other duly recognised village authorities, but they have a discretion to do so when they think right; and suits, which under these rules the village authorities cannot try, must be tried by the Deputy Commissioner, or his Assistants. A register of all suits tried by the Deputy Commissioner and his Assistants shall be kept in such form as the High Court shall direct. 32. Reference to Panchayat. - The Deputy Commissioner and his Assistants shall in all cases in which the parties are indigenous inhabitants of the Hills endeavour to induce them to submit their case to a Panchayat. If they agree to this, each party shall name an equal number of arbitrators, and shall choose, or leave the arbitrators to choose, an umpire. The names and residence of arbitrators and umpire and the matter in dispute, must be recorded before the proceedings commence, and the Court will direct the sardar or doloi or other recognized authority to assemble the panchayat and witnesses within eight days. When the case has been decided, the umpire shall appear with the parties before the Court, which shall proceed to record the decision and enforce it as its own. From such decision there shall be no appeal. 33. Appeals from decisions of village authorities. - An appeal shall lie from the decision of the sardar or doloi or other duly recognized village authority to the Deputy Commissioner, [* * *] or an Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner. A record shall be made of the matter in dispute and, if the decision appears to be just, will affirm and enforce it as one of its own. If the Court see reason to doubt the justice of the decision, it will try the case de novo, or refer it to a panchayat as above. 34. Properties liable to attachment and sale in execution. - (1) Property, movably or immovable, belonging to the judgement-debtor or over which, or the profits or which, he has a disposing power which he may exercise for his own benefit, whether the same be held in the name of the judgement-debtor or by another person in trust for him or on his behalf, is liable to attachment and sale is execution of a decree : Provided that the following particulars shall not be liable to such attachment or sale, namely :
(a) the necessary wearing apparel, cooking vessels, beds and bedding of the judgement-debtor, his wife and children, and such personal ornaments as in accordance with religious usage, cannot be parted with by any woman :
(b) tools of artisans and where the judgement-debtor is an agriculturist or hill-man, his implements of husbandry and such cattle and seed-grain and such portion of agricultural produce, as may, in the opinion of the Court, be necessary to enable him to earn his livelihood as such and for the purpose of providing until the next harvest for the due cultivation of the land and for the support of the judgement- debtor and his family;
(c) houses and other buildings (with the materials and the sites thereof and the land immediately appurtenant thereto and necessary for their enjoyment) belonging to an agriculturist and occupied by him, and any house or house- site belonging to a hill-man unless the Deputy Commissioner orders otherwise;
(d) books of account;
(e) a mere right to sue for damages;
(f) any right of personal service;
(g) stipends and gratuities allowed to pensioners of the Government, or payable out of any service, family pension fund notified in the Gazette of India by the President in this behalf, and political pensions;
(h) allowances (being less than salary) of any Public Officer or any servant of a Railway Company or local authority while absent from duty;
(i) the salary or allowance equal to salary of any such Public Officer or servant as is referred to in Clause (h), while on duty, to the extent of-
(i) the whole of the salary where the salary does not exceed forty rupees monthly;
(ii) forty rupees monthly, where the salary exceeds forty rupees and does not exceed eighty rupees monthly; and
(iii) one moity of the salary in any other case;
(j) the pay and allowances of persons to whom the Indian Articles of War apply;
(k) all compulsory deposit and other sums in or derived from any fund to which the Provident Fund Act, 1897, for the time being applies in so far as they are declared by the said Act not to be liable to attachment;
(l) the wages of labourers and domestic servants whether payable in money or in kind;
(m) an expectancy of succession by survivorship or other merely contingent or possible right or interest;
(n) a right to future maintenance.
(o) any allowance declared by any law passed under the Government of India Act, 1919, the Government of India Act, 1935, and the Constitution of India to be exempted from liability to attachment or sale in execution of a decree; andWhere the judgement-debtor is a person liable for the payment of land revenue, any movable property, which under any law for the time being applicable to him, is exempted from sale for the recovery of an arrest of such revenue. Explanation. - The particulars mentioned in Clauses (g), (h), (i), (j), (l) and (o) are exempt from attachment or sale whether before or after they are actually payable. (2) Nothing in this rule shall be deemed to exempt houses and other buildings (with materials and the sites thereof and the lands immediately appurtenant thereto and necessary for their enjoyment) from attachment or sale in execution of decrees for rent of any such houses, building site or land or if themselves the subject of the suit. 35. Detention for debts. - There shall be no imprisonment for debt excepting in cases where the Deputy Commissioner is satisfied that fraudulent disposal or concealment of the property has taken place; in such cases the debtor may be detained for a period not exceeding six months. 36A. Appeal and revision. - The High Court or Deputy Commissioner may, on application or otherwise, call for the proceedings of any case decided by any officer subordinate to him and pass such orders as he may deem fit. The Deputy Commissioner shall be a Court of appeal from a decision of an Assistant. The High Court shall be a Court of appeal from an original decision of the Deputy Commissioner, if the value of the suit be Rs. 500 or over, or if the suit involves a question of tribal rights or customs, or of right to or possession of immovable property: Provided that the petition of appeal accompanied by a copy of the order appealed against and by a clear statement of the grounds of appeal be filed within 30 days from the date of decision excluding the time required for obtaining a copy of the decision. An appeal which lies to the High Court may be presented to the Deputy Commissioner, who shall, if it be in order and presented in due time endorse upon it the date of receipt and transmit it with the records of the case to the High Court. The decree of the appellant Court shall be transferred to the Court passing the original order for execution as a decree of its own. 36B. Security for costs of appeal. - Any Court before within an appeal is filed may, before admitting the appeal, order the deposit by the appellant of all reasonable expenses (including pleaders' fees) likely, in the opinion of the Court, to be incurred by the respondent in the hearing of the appeal, or may order security to be given for such expenses; and if the appellant be a judgement-debtor may also order security to be given for part or the whole of he decretal amount. If the appeal fails the money deposited or secured shall immediately be paid to the respondent. 37. Application of Civil Procedure Code. - The High Court and the Courts of the Deputy Commissioner or Additional Deputy Commissioner and his Assistants shall be guided by the spirit, but not be bound by the letters, of the Code of Civil Procedure. 38 [Omitted]. 38A. [Omitted]. 39. Examination of witnesses. - It shall be discretionary to examine witnesses on oath in any form, or to warm them that they are liable to the punishment for perjury, if they state that which they know to be false. 40. Maintenance of register. - There shall be kept in the Civil Courts of the districts such registers as the High Court may from time to time prescribe. 41. Application of Limitation Act. - Although the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 (Act IX of 1908), has been barred by Notification No. 5865-A. P. 1, dated the 8th September, 1934, the principles of the Act should be closely followed in disputes between persons not belonging to a Scheduled Tribe or Tribes specified in items 1 and 2 of Part I-Assam, of the Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.