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Gauhati HC directs North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council to frame rules for holding elections

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The Gauhati High Court has recently directed the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) to frame necessary rules for conducting election in exercise of its power under Paragraph-2(7) of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice (Acting) N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice Soumitra Saikia allowed a PIL seeking a direction to declare the Assam Autonomous District (Constitution of District Councils) Rules, 1951 as a redundant/lapsed Rules after the constitution of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) and to frame new rules as per paragraph-2 (7) read conjointly with directions as laid down in Paragraph-2 (6) of the Sixth Schedule.

In this connection, the counsel for the petitioners has drawn the attention of the Court to the order passed by Division Bench of this Court on 13.07.2018 , where the Court after considering the various constitutional provisions had made the observation that the Council shall frame the appropriate rules for conducting the election in Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) in exercise of its power under Paragraph-2(7) of the Sixth Schedule within a period of 6 (six) months from the date of passing of the order.

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Accordingly, it has been submitted by the counsel for the petitioners that in the present case also similar direction may be issued to the North Cachar HAC to frame the Rules for conducting election in exercise of its power under Paragraph-2(7) of the Sixth Schedule within a period of 6 (six) months.

The Standing Counsel who appeared for NCHAC also submits that such a direction can be made in respect of NC Hills as well, as the principal secretary has also stated to that same effect in his affidavit filed on 16.02.2022.

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In view of the above and after hearing the counsel for the parties, the Court allowed the PIL by directing the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council to frame the necessary rules for conducting election in exercise of its power under Paragraph-2(7) of the Sixth Schedule within a period of 8 (eight) months.

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