Contents  
Chapter- 1: General
Chapter- 2: History
Chapter- 3: People
Chapter- 4: Agriculture & Irrigation
Chapter- 5: Industries
Chapter - 6: Banking, Trade & Commerce
Chapter - 7: Communications
Chapter - 8: Miscellenous Occupation
Chapter - 9: Economic Trends Part 1
Chapter - 9: Economic Trends Part 2
Chapter - 10: General Administration
Chapter - 11: Revenue Aministration
Chapter - 12 : Law & Order and Justice
Chapter - 13 : Other Departments
Chapter - 14 : Local Self Government Part1
Chapter - 14 : Local Self Government Part2
Chapter - 14 : Local Self Government Part3
Chapter - 15 : Education and Culture
Chapter - 16 : Medical & Public Health Services
Chapter - 17 : Other Social Services

 

Chapter - 18 :  Public Life and Voluntary Social Service Organisations
Chapter - 19 : Places of Interest
Chapter - 20 : Glossary

CHAPTER - XII
LAW AND ORDER AND JUSTICE

Section - 1

(a) INCIDENCE OF CRIME IN THE DISTRICT :

There is no record on incidence of crimes in the ancient times pertaining to this district. From the ancient history of Kamrupa it is evident that, this part of the country which was primarily inhabited by the Kiratas and the Cinas, went under the sway of the Kamrupa emperors of the Bhauma and the Varman Dynesties and finally confined themselves into small territories under a number of clans like the Kacharis , the Nagas, the Jaintias etc. From the community organisation , customs and norms of these clans or tribes which have been elaborately discussed in chapter III of the Gazetteer , it can be easily surmised that there was perfect law and order situation prevailing in these territories in the ancient times. But as there is complete absence of recorded evidence on the matter, nothing can be said definitely. The only form of Government known at that time was the monarchy and the entire responsibility of the country's security rested with the king who besides guarding the sovereignity , was to maintain full justice in the sphere of life, property and honour of the people within his dominion.

The incidence of crime in the district is on increase. 535 cases of crimes under Indian Penal code were reported in 1968 against 92 in 1951 A steady rise in the crimes is noticeable from the following figures :-

Year

Crimes reported

Year

Crimes reported

1951

92

1960

405

1952

175

1961

434

1953

262

1962

421

1954

242

1963

479

1955

245

1964

579

1956

261

1965

472

1957

256

1966

433

1958

309

1967

458

1959

392

1968

535

Most of the cases above are crimes against property and a few against the human body . Out of the total crimes mentioned above in 1960, 1965 and 1968, theft and burglary accounted for 92, 96, 97, and 90, 63 ,79 cases respectively. There was 14, 20, 5 cases of dacoity and 18, 6, 9 cases of robbery in the same years. All these dacoits excepting some two or three for which the Naga hostiles are responsible, have ben committed by the mixed gangs. Murder cases were only 13 in 1968-69.

Rioting which comes next to theft and burglary accounts for 30, 45 and 32 in 1960, 1965 and 1968 respectively. The rioting cases are gradually increasing for the reason that the quarrel amongst the people takes place very frequently for the unsettled lands. The rioting on grounds of religion, languages etc. are very rare in the district.

Border raids are committed by the Naga hostiles on the eastern and southern portions of the district along the border of the Nagaland State. They have attacked bordering places committing dacoity, arson, rioting , murder etc. They have also caused damage and dislocation to the railway communication. The most important sabotage caused by the Naga hostiles took place at Diphu Railway Station in the month of April, 1966. A high power explosive damaged the several bogies of the Down Train, resulting in death of about hundred passengers. The following table shows the details of crimes reported in the district since 1960.1:- 

Nature of crimes

1960

1961

1962

1963

1964

1965

1966

1967

1968

K.A

N.H

K.A

N.H

K.A

N.H

K.A

N.H

K.A

N.H

K.A

N.H

K.A

N.H

K.A

N.H

K.A

N.H

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

1.Dacoity

2.Robbery

3.Burglary

4.Theft

5.Murder

6.Rioting

7.Smuggling

8.Border raids

9.Sex crimes

10.Other crimes

11.Total crimes

12.C.S. to total crimes

13.F.R. to total

crimes

14.Cases pending at the end of the year

13

17

72

76

10

28

-

4

6

119

339

 

157

149

 

33

1

1

8

16

2

2

-

-

2

31

66

 

23

43

 

14

5

6

61

77

3

20

-

-

12

144

328

 

130

152

 

46

6

2

17

19

3

2

-

-

3

50

106

 

50

56

 

41

7

4

90

62

7

27

-

-

7

151

355

 

143

176

 

36

2

3

2

23

4

3

-

-

2

30

66

 

35

37

 

26

15

5

74

82

9

27

-

-

18

174

404

 

189

182

 

33

3

1

13

20

4

1

-

-

3

23

75

 

28

47

 

31

5

6

65

65

4

144

-

-

17

161

467

 

187

220

 

60

4

2

13

22

6

5

-

-

1

60

112

 

55

57

 

53

19

3

48

75

9

36

-

10

15

171

382

 

201

144

 

37

1

3

15

21

1

9

-

-

3

47

90

 

41

49

 

41

15

4

38

73

6

22

-

10

15

180

353

 

186

133

 

34

-

2

11

11

5

5

-

-

3

47

80

 

40

40

 

45

3

4

48

68

19

19

-

-

8

204

373

 

170

176

 

27

-

-

14

7

5

-

-

-

1

45

79

 

42

37

 

40

 

2

8

60

83

10

25

-

-

15

209

412

 

196

195

 

21

3

1

19

14

3

7

-

-

4

58

123

 

51

72

 

67

1. The table is compiled from the materials collected from the office of Superintendent of Police,Diphu and Haflong.

(b) ORGANISATION OF POLICE FORCE :

Police Department in the district came into being with the inauguration of the district an 17 th November , 1951 . The Deputy Commissioner of United Mikir and North Cachar Hills was also placed in charge of Police. Initialy, there were two police stations one at Diphu in Karbi Anglong and other at Haflong in North Cachar Hills. The Police administration was carried on with a mearge staff of Inspector, seven Sub-Inspectors, sixteen Assistant Sub-Inspectors, Head Constables and 119 Constables 2 . Gradually the police force increased as two more thanas had to be opened at Hawraghat and Bokajan in 1955 and 1956. The post of Superintendent of Police was created in 1957. In 1959, Boithalangso Police Station was also established and sanction for Police Satation at Maubong was also received. The strength of regular Police consisted of one Superintendent and one Assistant Superintendent , one Deputy Superintendent, two Inspectors, twenty-seven Sub-Inspectors and 314 Assistant Sub-Inspectors, Head Constables and Constables in 1966.

Village Defence Parties : The organisation of Village Defence Parties started in 1954. At the inception, there were only 12 parties with one Village Defence Circle Organiser but gradually the number of Village Defence Parties rose to 172 besides sixty unregistered parties and 3 other Village Defence Circle Organisers. A Sub-Inspector of Police has been posted for managing the organisation.

Home Guard : The organosation of Home Guards was introduced in the district in September, 1965 . It is under the command of an Honorary Commandant. Initially, with a regular staff of 4 Inspectors, 2 Platoon Commandants and 6 grade IV employees, it started its training centre and occasional enrolments were made on the basis of daily wages. The Director of Civil Defence and Commandant General Home Guards, Assam, Gauhati has allotted a quota of 110 Home Guards for urban areas and 990 Home Guards for rural areas in the different Community Development Blocks @ 110 Home Guards in each Block. Another quota of 36 Women Home Guards has also been allotted for training in this district. 443 (414 men and 29 women) and 416 persons were trained as Home Guards during the years 1965-66 and 1966-67.

During 1966-67, forty Home Guards were called out and posted in the different vital installations of the district. 220 Home Guards were called on duty for conducting 1967 General Elections and for law and order duties. Another batch of 73 Home Guards was utilized at check posts in 1967.

Railway Police : This is a branch of the State Police organisation . The Superintendent of the Railway Police with headquarters at Haflong is the head of the Railway Police and he works directly under the Inspector General of Police, Assam. It has two police Stations at Badarpur (Cachar district ) and Lumding (Nowgong district) with one out-post at Lower Haflong. Crimes committed on Railway's premises come under the purview of the Railway Police.

Fire Service organisation : A staff of Fire Brigade consisting of one Sub-officer , two Drivers , 2 leading Firemen and 12 Firemen have been working in the district since 18th January,1968. The Fire Station is equipped with 2 wales tenderers and one jeep.

Prohibition Squad : The Superintendent of Excise is the head of the Excise Force in the district subject to the general supervision of the Deputy Commissioner. The main function of this organisation is to enforce prohibition laws in the district.

Intelligence Branch : The District Intelligence Branch has also been organisation with 4 Sub -Inspectors, 3 Assistant Sub-Inspectors and 4 Constables. Besides, there is another intelligence set-up of one Deputy Superintendent, 2 Inspectors, 7 Sub-Inspectors, and Assistant Sub-Inspectors and Constables to deal with the operation against Naga hostiles.

Assam Radio Police organisation : The Police Radio Station of this district was installed in 1951. Now, wireless sets are provided to each thana and temporary police beats according to the necessity.

There is one Police Training Centre at Haflong for imparting training to S.S.B. personnels.

(c) JAILS AND LOCKUPS :

There are only two lockups for under-trial prisoners , located at Diphu and Haflong. There is no Jail for prisoners in the district and convicts sentenced to imprisonment are sent to Jails elsewhere.

2. Census of India, 1961 ,Assam, District Census Hand Book, United Mikir and North Cachar Hills.

Section - 2

(a) HISTORY OF JUDICIARY :SEPARATION OF EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS :

Before the formation of the district of United Mikir and North Cachar Hills , special rules were in force for the administration of Civil and Criminal justice in the Mikir Hills Tracts and the North Cachar Hills sub-division . The Civil and Criminal justice in the Mikir Hills Tracts was administered by the Deputy Commissioner of Nowgong and Sibsagar districts and that of North Cachar Hills sub- division by the Deputy Commissioner s of the Cachar district. The Deputy Commissioner s were empowered to pass sentences of death, transportation and imprisonment for seven years or upwards subject to the confirmation of the Chief Commissioner , or Governor. Fine and imprisonment could be awarded in lieu of any other punishment provided that the amount of punishment awardable for the offence in question under the Indian Penal Code be not exceeded and no appeal lay from any sentence by the Deputy Commissioner, or less than three years of imprisonment. The jurisdiction of the High Court was barred and the Chief Commissioner or Governor was the chief appellate authority.

There was no separation of executive and judicial functions. The Magistrate of the Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner exercised executive and judicial powers as well as administered Civil and Criminal justice. With the constitution of the new district in 1951 and the formation of the two autonomous Districts of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills , Govt. by Regulation No. X of 1951 (Assam, United Mikir and North Cachar Hills Administration Regulation of 1951 ) inter alia invested the Deputy Commissioner of the United Mikir and North Cachar Hills with all the powers for adminitration of Civil and Criminal justice which were formerly exercised by the Deputy Commissioner s of Sibsagar , Nowgong and Cachar Districts.

(b) ORGANISATION OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL COURTS :

The administration of civil and criminal justice vests in the Deputy Commissioner and his Assistants . Special Rules are in force for the administration of justice in both Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills. Disputes of civil nature arising between parties belonging to Scheduled tribes are initially heard and decided by the Mauzadar s and village authorities. Parties aggrieved by the decision of a Mauzadar or recognised village authority may prefer an appeal to the Deputy Commissioner or his Assistants ; the parties are heard by the court and if the decision of the Mauzadar or village authorities appears to be just, the court affirms it ; if not ; the court enforces its own decision. From the decision of the Deputy Commissioner , no appeal lies. The houses of the House - Tax paying hill-men, needful clothing , utensils or implements whereby the owner subsists , may not be attached , sold or transferred in execution of a decree, unless these be the subject of the suit. No such village authority has yet been constituted in the district.

An appeal lies to the Deputy Commissioner against the decision of any assistants and to the High court against the original decision of the Deputy Commissioner , if the value of the suit is Rs.500/- or over or if a question of tribal rights or customs or right to, or possession of immovable property is involved in the suit. The limitation laid down for filing petition of appeals is 30 days from the date of the court's decision excluding the time required for obtaining a copy of the order appealed against. Appeals lying to the High Court have to be presented to the Deputy Commissioner first. If the Deputy Commissioner finds it in order and within the period of limitation he transmits the petition of appeal with the record of the case to the High Court . The decree of the appellate court is transferred to the court passing the original order for executing it as a decree of its own.  

In dispensation of civil justice, the High Court and the Courts of the Deputy Commissioner and his Assistants follow the spirit but not the letter of the Civil Procedure Code. The Courts have been given the discretion to examine witness on path in any form or to warn them that they are liable to punishment for perjury if they make statements which they know to be false.

Although The Indian Limitation Act 1908 (Act IX of 1908) has been barred by Notification No. 5868 A.P. dated 8 September , 1934, the principles of The Indian Limitation Act are closely followed in disputes between persons not belonging to Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes ) Order , 1950.

The administration of criminal justice devolves upon the Deputy Commissioner, his Assistants and the Mauzadar s, Gaonburas or other village authorities of the different Communities. As in the case of administration of civil justice, the different courts administering criminal justice are guided by the spirit of the Criminal Procedure Code and are not bound by its letter.

On being authorised by the Deputy Commissioner , any Mauzadar, Gaonbura or village authority can dispose of cases of persons charged with minor offences involving injury to proporty not exceeding Rs.50/- , aninjury to persons not endangering life or limb , simple house trespass , afront of whatever kind and theft. They may impose a fine for any offence they are competent to try to the extent of Rs.50/- only . They may award restitution or compensation to the extent of the injury sustained and enforced by distraint of the property of the offender. In case in which the offender refuses to abide by the decision, the offender is produced before the Deputy Commissioner or any of his Assistants representing at the same time the facts of the case. The Deputy Commissioner or any one of his Assistants may retry the case and impose such other punishments as he is competent to inflict. Mauzadar s, Gaonburas or village authorities can exercise their authority only under a Sanad of recognition issued to them by the Deputy Commissioner. The Mauzadar s, Gaonburas or village authorities decide cases in open durbar in the presence of at least 3 witness and the complaint and the accused. Either party can make an appeal from their decision within 30 days to the Deputy Commissioner or one of his assistants who may try the case de novo. But no such village authority has yet been recognised.

An appeal lies to the Deputy Commissioner from the dscision of his Assistants and to the High Court from any sentence passed by the Deputy Commissioner. No appeal lies against the order of an Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner , having powers of a Magistrate of the 1st class, inflicting a sentence of fine which does not exceed Rs.50/-. The Deputy Commissioner is competent to pass sentence of death, transpotation or imprisonment up to the maximum period provided for the offence, and of fine to any amount. All sentences of death, transportation or imprisonment of seven years and upwards are subject to the confirmation by the High Court. In case of a sentence of death, the period of appeal is 7 days.

Role of the District Council s and Panchayats : Under para 4 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India , the District Council s in the autonomous districts have power to constitute Village Councils or courts for trial of suits and cases between parties all of whom belong to Scheduled Tribe, other than suits and cases arising out of any law in force to Scheduled Tribe, other than suits and cases arising out of any law in force in any autonomous district being a law specified on that behalf by the Governor or for the trial of offences punishable with death, transportation for life or imprisonment for a term of not less than 5 years under the Indian Penal Code or under any law for the time being in force in the district, and appoint suitable persons to be members of such Village Councils or Presiding Officers for such courts. Persuant to this authority , the District Council of the North Cachar Hills autonomous District, in 1956 set up the District Council Court and a Subordinate District Council Court under direct subordination to the Assam High court for trial of cases and offences of the nature mentioned herein above. There is one Judge for the District Council Court and a Subordinate Judge for the Subordinate District Council Court. The District Council Court exercises its function as an appellate authority against the orders and decisions of the Subordinate District Council Court . The Subordinate District Council Court exercises its power both in its original juridiction as well as an appellate authority for hearing appeals against the decisions of the Village Panchayats. These Village Panchayats are constituted with village elders generally presided over by Mauzadar s or the village head-man who have been authorised to hear disputes concerning tribal laws and customs and also cases of petty Civil and Criminal nature. These Panchayats are , however, not to be confused with the Panchayats elected under the Assam Panchayat Act, nor with the Village Councils which the District Council may set up under the para 4 of the Sixth Schedule to the constitution of India. These Village Panchayats are neither permanent nor elected bodies. These were in existence even before the District Council of the North Cachar Hills came into being . They have beeen authorised to perform the functions and duties of the village courts. The tribal people in general in the North Cachar Hills like any other hill tribes are not litigious and almost all the disputes are settled at the village level. A majority of the cases that come up to the Subordinate Court also eventually ends in compromise.

The Karbi Anglong District Council has not set up the District Council Court as cases of the nature these courts are competent to try, are so few in number that it is not worthwhile to incur heavy expenditure by having a separate judiciary of their own. All cases in the Karbi Anglong are , therefore, heard and tried by the Deputy Commissioner and his Assistants. As in the North Cachar Hills , in the Karbi Anglong also, petty cases of civil and criminal nature and disputes involving tribal laws and customs are as a rule heard by the traditional Village Panchayats presided over by the village head-men or tribal chief.

To dispense civil and criminal justice in the United Mikir and North Cachar Hills there is one Deputy Commissioner 's Court exercising powers of the Court of the Sessions Judge at Diphu with two Courts of the Assistants to the Deputy Commissioner. There is one Sub-divisional Magistrate's Court at haflong with two Courts of the Assistants to the Deputy Commissioner. The Judiciary has not been separated from the Executive . The Deputy Commissioner and his Assistant continue to administer Civil and Criminal justice in addition to their executive functions.

(c) NATURE OF CASES HANDLED :

The staff of officers employed on criminal and civil justice work in the district during the year 1959, consisted of the District Magistrate , one Sub- Divisional Magistrate and 4 Subordinate Magistrates. There is no regular Sessions Division in the district . The District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner functions as Sessions Judge under the Rules For Administration Of Criminal And Civil Justice For Autonomous Districts.

Criminal Cases :

The number of offences reported during the year 1959 was 1,706 against 1,140 , 1,150 , 984, in the years 1958, 1957, 1956 respectively. Of these , 544, 407 and 402 were under I.P.C. and 1,162 , 666, 752 and 582 were under special laws. Out of these, 1,338, 819 , 773 and 315 were found to be true in the respective years as mentioned above. From the figures of reported offences, it is evident that there is a continuous and steady rise in the number of offences under the Indian Penal Code as well as under special laws.

1,446 cases were disposed of in the Courts of the District Magistrate and other Magistrates exercising original jurisdiction in 1959. The total number of cases decided in the same year increased by 742, 676 and 461 when compared with the years of 1956 , 1957 and 1958.

The number of persons involved in cases was 1,996, 1,842, 1,187 and 1,093 in 1959 , 1958 , 1957 , and 1956 respectively. Of these , 1,086 ,600, 574 and 450 were convicted and 970, 643, 613 and 643 were acquitted. Of the persons convicted in 1959, 276 were sentenced to imprisonment, rigorous or simple , 217 to pay fine with imprisonment and 443 to fine only.  

The total amount of fine imposed during the year 1959 was Rs.18,648.63. The amount realised during the same year was Rs.13,702.46

Civil Suits :

The number of Civil suits instituted in the year 1959, was 18 as against 11, 13 and 12 cases in the years 1958, 1957 and 1956 respectively. Of the total number of suits institutes in the above years 7, 5, 8, 9, were petty claims valued at sums not exceeding the value of Rs.5,000/-. Only two were valued over Rs.5,000/- one in the year 1958 and another in the year 1956. In addition to 18, 11, 13, and 12 suits instituted in the above mentioned years 7, 8 , 3, 5 were pending from the previous years making a total of 18, 19, 16 and 17. Of these excluding transfer , 10, 13, 7, 13 were disposed of during the same years.

(d) BAR ASSOCIATION :

As the number of cases Civil or Criminal are not much, there are only 3 advocates and 2 Mukhtiars at Diphu . Advocates from the neighbouring districts also come occasionally whenever they are engaged in a particular case. A Bar Association is still not organised in the district .