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APHLC, DNC oppose attempt to dilute powers of KAAC

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By Vivian Longki Rongpi Updated: Jul 01, 2021 1:19 am
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APHLC President JI Kathar briefing journalists at the office of district press club of Karbi Anglong in Diphu.

Our Correspondent
Diphu, June 30 (EMN): The All Party Hills Leaders Conference (APHLC) and Dimasa National council (DNC) on Tuesday jointly submitted a memorandum to Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, Chief Executive Member, Tuliram Ronghang alleging the handing over of power to the deputy commissioner.

APHLC and DNC in the memorandum stated, “the handing over of powers of the Dima Hasao Autonomous Council to the Deputy Commissioner which means handing over power to the agent of the State Government. We are placing before you now because, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. The Principal Secretary of BTC vide his ORDER No.BTC/IBA-679/2020/46, dated June 4, 2021 has handed over the autonomous powers of the Bodoland Territorial Council to the Deputy Commissioners working in Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR). It has been done in pursuance of government Notification No.AAP.136/2014/116, dated 19th January, 2021.

The establishments of deputy commissioners under the General Administration department and Superintendents of Police under the Home department have not been transferred to the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council either by the MoU, 1995 or by the MoS, 2011. Only provisions for consultation between the State Government and the Autonomous Councils at the time of posting of Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police in the autonomous districts is included in the MoU, 1995 and MoS, 2011. It is now learnt that by the BTR Accord signed on 27-01-2020, the Deputy Commissioners have been entrusted with the functions of monitoring and supervision of all schemes pertaining to all transferred departments including Land and Revenue, Forests and Primary Education which are inherent subjects of the Autonomous Council under the Sixth Schedule to the constitution of India. 

“In BTR the Deputy Commissioners have been entrusted with the  power to oversee and supervise the works of district and sub-divisional officials regarding implementation of various schemes taken up by the Govt. of India, Govt. of Assam and BTC authority of all 16 subjects which have been transferred to BTC. Further the Deputy Commissioners have been given the power to prepare Annual Action Plans and get it approved by the Principal Secretary, BTC with respect to the subjects entrusted to BTC for the purpose of their performance appraisal to be forwarded annually to the Personnel Department, Govt. of Assam.

“In BTR for effective control, the Deputy Commissioners will ensure presence of district level functionaries at their respective Headquarters. The Deputy Commissioners are entrusted with the authority to grant Casual Leave and HQ leave permission to the district level officers, and these powers have been given to the SDOs (Civil) with regard to sub-divisional level officers. Henceforth, the district and sub-divisional level officers of all departments need not report their presence or absence to the CEM, EMS, Principal Secretary,  Secretaries, Joint Secretaries or Deputy Secretaries.

“It has been made to appear to the BTC Authority that the Deputy Commissioners have been brought under the control of the Bodoland Territorial Council because the Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) will be recorded by the Chief Executive Member of BTC. As per rule, ACRs of Deputy Commissioners are recorded by the Divisional Commissioners. The important point to note is that, the State Government never asks the Deputy Commissioners to do anything through the Divisional Commissioners. Similarly, the state government will issue directions and guidelines to the Deputy Commissioners directly with only information to the Autonomous Councils. This will happen slowly but surely. Consequently, autonomy of the Autonomous Councils derived from the Sixth Schedule to the constitution of India will be ultimately lost.

“It is now authoritatively learnt that the Assam government has connived at letting the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council to hand over autonomous powers to the Deputy Commissioners which means surrendering autonomous powers to the State Government. It is learnt that it is being done on condition that the Chief Executive Member will be authorised to write the Annual Confidential Reports of the Deputy Commissioners for controlling them.

“The Autonomous Council simply having the authority of recording ACRs cannot control the Deputy Commissioners and SDOs (Civil), because the Accepting Authority of ACRs may not accept the remarks recorded in the ACRs by the CEM of BTC, KAAC or DHAC. Whatever anybody may defend the handing of powers of the Autonomous Councils to the Deputy Commissioners to be bringing the Deputy Commissioners under the Autonomous Councils, the Deputy Commissioners and SDOs (Civil) shall remain under the control of the State government, because the Disciplinary Authority, ACR Accepting Authority, Appointing Authority and Posting and Transferring Authority shall remain with the State Government. It is not getting of power, it is surrendering of power.

 “We learn that the reason for transferring powers to the Deputy Commissioners is that the CEM, EMs and the Officers working in BTC are very corrupt. And so to prevent them from committing corruption, their powers are given to the Deputy Commissioners. If this is the reason, then instead of surrendering power to the state government, all the corrupt CEM and EMs should be voted out and disciplinary actions should be taken against the Officers. Even in the state government many ministers and officers are sometimes found corrupt, but the state government never surrenders power to the Central Government. The other step the BTC can take is, the BTC itself can create a Directorate of Monitoring and Evaluation with a Director at its head to prevent corruption and the Secretaries, Joint Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries should have been directed to inspect the implementation of schemes, if the CEM and EMs cannot prevent themselves from committing corruption. But the real fact is that corruption starts at the release of fund in the Finance Department of the State Government itself. And the other source of corruption is satisfying the political high command and his subordinates, in the case of national parties.

“The Hon’ble CEM and EMs and all of us must not forget that non-Scheduled Tribes people who cannot extricate themselves from caste system, cannot tolerate the casteless tribes people possessing a separate Mini-Constitution – that is, the Sixth Schedule to the constitution of India. We can find this out from the Constituent Assembly Debates how Rohini Kumar Choudhury, Kuladhar Chaliha and some other non-scheduled tribes people vehemently opposed the Sixth Schedule. The Mini-Constitution places the Indian Mongolian tribes peoples at equal level in governance with the non-scheduled tribes people. The non-scheduled tribes people cannot tolerate this equality. So whenever our agitators demand Autonomous State under Article 244(A) of the constitution, in the MoU and MoS or any Accord, the government never fails to cut down some of the powers of the Sixth Schedule to the constitution of India, although the agitations had nothing to do with the Sixth Schedule.    

“One simple fact which we do not like to openly say is that, Assam State is controlled by a section of racially minded non-scheduled tribes people and they do not like the scheduled tribes people who belong to a different race. All the Autonomous Councils are in the hands of the Hills  Scheduled  Tribes people.  The non-scheduled tribes do not like to recognize the good  works of the Indian Mongolian officers and they do not judge their performance on equal level with their own performance. So, it is doubtful if, the ACRs recorded by the CEMs of the Autonomous Councils will be accepted by the Accepting Authority of the government of Assam”, APHLC and DNC stated.

 “The APHLC and DNC appeal, Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, not to agree to transfer powers of the KAAC to the Deputy Commissioners whenever the Assam Government persuaded. The model of BTC should never be followed. The Sixth Schedule of BTC is a broken Sixth Schedule. In fact, theirs is not a constitutional Sixth Schedule. It does not have the same status and powers like the real Sixth Schedule to the constitution of India”, stated memorandum. The memorandum to the KAAC CEM was jointly signed by APHLC president JI Kathar, general secretary Sarkiri Rongphar, DNC president Dhironjoy Naiding and working president Joymendra Thaosen.

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By Vivian Longki Rongpi Updated: Jul 01, 2021 1:19:03 am