Administration of justice in respect of tribals within the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District is being look after by the District Council Court and its Subordinate District Council Court constituted by the Executive Committee of the Jaintia Hills District Council since its inception in the year 1967 under the provisions of the United Khasi & Jaintia Hills Autonomous District (Administration of Justice)Rules 1953. These Courts are manned by Judicial Officers having law degree and designated as Judges and Magistrates and undertake trial of both Civil and Criminal Cases arising between tribals only. These Courts follow the spirit of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 and the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 and they fall within the judicial jurisdiction of the Meghalaya High Court. Powers on these Courts are conferred by the Governor of Meghalaya under paragraph 5 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
However, in respect of Civil and Criminal Cases arising between tribal and nontriabal or between non-tribals within the Jaintia Hills Autonomous Districts, the same are being look after by the Deputy Commissioner and the District & Session Judge, Jaintia Hills District with their respected Subordinates in exercise of the powers conferred under the administration of justice Rules,1937. These Courts also falls under the judicial jurisdiction of the Meghalaya High Court.
Courts under the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council.
In exercise of the powers conferred on it by paragraph 4 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council, under the provision of the United Khasi & Jaintia Hills District(Administration of Justice)Rules,1953, constituted the following classes of
2.Subordinate District Council Courts.
3.District Council Court.
1. Village Courts:- These Courts are constituted for the villages within the Elaka for the trial of suits and cases between tribals. It is being manned by the Dolloi and other members elected by the Durbar Elaka. In Civil Cases the Village Courts is empowered to award costs and compensations. In Criminal Cases it is empowered to impose a fine of Rs.50 only. It has no power to pass a sentence of imprisonment. The Village Courts tries suits and cases in accordance with the Customary laws/practice of the village.
2. Subordinate District Council Courts:- These Courts are constituted for the trial of suits and cases for the whole of Jaintia Hills Autonomous District not triable by Village Courts to be presided over by Judicial Officers designated as Magistrates. In Civil Cases it has got unlimited power and in Criminal Cases it has been invested with powers up to seven years imprisonment. It also hear appeals (Civil and Criminal) from the decisions of the Village Courts.
At present there are two Subordinate District Council Courts at Jowai and they are trying both Civil and Criminal Cases arising from different parts of Jaintia Hills Autonomous District comprising East and West Jaintia Hills District. Many of these Cases have been disposed of from time to time.
3. District Council Court:- This Court is constituted for the trial of suits and cases not triable by any Council Courts. It exercise jurisdiction within the whole of Jaintia Hills Autonomous District and is presided over by judicial Officer designated as the Judge. In Civil Cases it has got unlimited powers and in Criminals Cases it has been invested with ten years power of imprisonment. It also hears appeals and revisions (Civil and Criminal) from the decisions of the Subordinate District Council Courts. Appeals and revisions against its Orders/Judgements lies to the Meghalaya High Court.