The Khasi Inheritance of Property Bill 2021 has been referred to committee for further scrutiny by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.
The selection committee is headed by Chief Executive Member Titosstarwell Chyne as the chairman, with the committee members comprising Pynshngain Syiem, Bindo Lanong, Charles Marngar, Carnes Sohshang, and Paul Lyngdoh. All of the committee members are men.
The objective of the bill is to streamline the distribution of parental property among siblings, both male and female, a major change to prevailing customs. The bill also aims to prevent a sibling from getting parental property if they marry a non-Khasi and adopt the spouse’s customs and culture.
Speaking to reporters, Chyne said that since most of the MDCs have just received copies of the bill and are yet to go through it thoroughly, proper scrutiny will be done by the selection committee before it is tabled again in the next KHADC session.
He reiterated that it is not mandatory that all the children will get a share of the parental property but the very spirit of the bill is to allow parents who want to share the property among all the children to be able to do so through the legislation.
Informing that the selection committee will sit as soon as possible to further discuss the bill, he also highlighted that there are some cases where a Khasi family which does not have daughters has seen their property claimed by clan members after the death of the parents and the sons are left without any security and assistance.
Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition, PN Syiem, said that the bill requires further scrutiny because there are some clauses that, he felt, do not suit the customs of the Khasis.
“The bill needs improvement to see that no one is exploited in the family but the bill cannot also do away with the entire customary practices,” he said.