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Meghalaya - Governance

All Executive Authority of the State formally vests in the Governor. In actual practice, however, he acts as the Constitutional Head of the State Government. Every act or decision of the Governor is impressed to be taken in his name. Every such act or decision is based on a decision taken by the Council of Ministers or under the authority of a Minister except in so far as the Governor is by or under the Constitution required to exercise his function on any of them in his decision

Council of Ministers: The executive power of the State Government is exercised by the Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head. The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor. The other Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the State Legislative Assembly.

The Council of Ministers consist of Ministers who are members of the Cabinet and Ministers of States. The Cabinet, which consists of the Ministers appointed as its members, determines the policy of the Govt. and gives direction. The Ministers who are not members of the Cabinet attend meetings of the Cabinet when matters concerning their Departments are considered by the Cabinet, if so desired by the Cabinet.

Administrative relations between the Union and the State: The executive power of the State is so exercised as to ensure compliance with the laws made by parliament and in existing laws which apply in the State and also as not to impede or prejudice the exercise of the executive power of the Union. The Union may give such directions to the State as may appear to the Govt. of India to be necessary for the purpose in accordance with the Constitution.

The Advocate General for the State is the highest legal adviser to the State Govt. and is usually consulted in matters of importance involving interpretation of the Constitution, laws or other rules. He also appears in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Govt. to conduct important cases. Under Article 177 of the Constitution, the Advocates General has the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly.

The Chief Secretary is the principal Officer of Govt. responsible for overall control and efficient administration of the State Govt. In addition to the regular Secretarial functions regarding the Departments under his charge. A Secretary to the Govt. is the administrative head of one or more Departments. He is the principal adviser to the Minister on all matters of policy and administration within his department. Such Officer may be designated as Commissioner / Commissioner and Secretary or Secretary and may be assisted by a Secretary or Additional / Joint / Deputy / Under Secretary, Superintendent and other subordinate staff. With the approval of the Minister-in-charge, an Additional, Joint, Deputy, or Under Secretary may be authorized by the Secretary to dispose off specified classes of cases without reference to the Secretary.

Secretariat Departments have generally under them the officers of Heads of Departments. They are responsible for execution and implementation of policies laid down by the administrative Departments. They also provide technical advice to the administrative departments. In some cases, there are no Heads of Departments under an administrative department. This depends on either of the factors, namely, there is no executive direction involved as in the case of Secretariat Administration Department or the Executive direction involved is exercised through the general agency of Deputy Commissioners.

The Urban Local bodies in the State include Municipal Board and Town Committees. Though there are no rural local bodies like the Mahkuma Parishad, the Anchalik Panchayat and the Goan Panchayat but traditional institutions like Syiemship, Daloiship and Nokmas exist in the rural areas. The Municipal Boards and Town Committees are governed by the Assam Municipal Act, 1956, since adopted, and the Establishment and Administration of Town Committees Acts such as the Garo Hills District (Administration of Town Committee) Act, 1956; the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills District (Establishment of Town Committee) Act, 1960; and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District (Establishment and Administration of Town Committees) Act, 1975.

It is pertinent to note that Part XXI of the Constitution does not contain any special provision with regard to the State of Meghalaya unlike other States in the North East. However, paragraph 12A was inserted by the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act, 1969 with the formation of autonomous State of Meghalaya within the State of Assam making special provisions with respect to application of laws in Meghalaya.

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Page last modified: 20-02-2018 18:42:46 ZULU