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Non-issuance of certificates to Khasis with father’s surname: SRT threatens to take KHADC to court

First Published: 28th April, 2023 12:38 IST

SRT said that they have already taken legal advice from three to four lawyers on this matter

The Syngkhong Rympei Thymmai (SRT) in Meghalaya has threatened to move court against the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) for denying to issue Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificates to children born to Khasi parents who use their father’s surname instead of mothers’.

It should be noted that Meghalaya is a matrilineal society so the children adopt their mother’s surname name.

The KHADC has also instructed and directed the traditional chiefs or Rangbah Shnongs to stop issuing Khasi tribe certificates to those children in accordance with Khasi Hills Autonomous District Khasi Customs Social Lineage Act, 1997, claimed SRT.

The SRT further informed that on pursuing the matter in 2020, the Social Welfare Department issued an order and clearly mentioned that Khasis who bear their father’s surname can be entitled to ST status and certificates provided they meet other criteria.

Adding that the government has already given the order and only the implementation part remains. The DCs who issue SC certificates should comply with the order or otherwise, it will be contempt, SRT president, Teibor Khongjee said, ” If the issuing authorities continue to show contempt, we will be left with no option other than to take legal action against them.”

Khongjee said that they have already taken legal advice from three to four lawyers on this matter.

Khongjee stated that he had filed a Right to Information (RTI) request to the Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills if there are any provisions of law to deny ST status to the Khasis who use their father’s surname however, the DC responded by saying it is not required for a person who has adopted their father’s surname to first obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the relevant Seng Kur.

It may be mentioned here that offices of the Deputy Commissioner in East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills are not issuing ST certificates to children born of Khasi parents just because they choose to adopt their father’s surname instead of their mothers.

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