District & Sessions Court, East Garo Hills District
I. About the District
The East Garo Hills District is one of the 11 (eleven) districts of the state of Meghalaya. The East Garo Hills District was upgraded from a sub-division to a full fledged district on 22nd October, 1976, after the erstwhile Garo Hills District was reorganized with a view to bring the administration closer to the people. The District headquarter, Williamnagar is a neatly planned township. It has been christened as Williamnagar after Captain Williamson A. Sangma, the first Chief Minister of the State of Meghalaya.
The original inhabitants of the District are Garos who constitute the major bulk of the population. The Garos prefer to call themselves ‘A.chik’. The other original inhabitants are the Rabhas, Koch, Hajong.
III. The District & Sessions Court
The judiciary was separated from the executive on 27thJune, 2014. The size of the district is 1517 square kilometers and, per the last census, the population is 1,45,798. The district capital, Williamnagar, is also the location of the District & Sessions Court. It is situated close to the office of the Deputy Commissioner and is accessible to the people of the district thanks to the convenient modes of transport available.
The district is currently manned by a District and Sessions Judge, a Chief Judicial Magistrate and a Judicial Magistrate First Class. The Judicial Officers also exercise powers under the Rules of Administration of Justice in Garo Hills, 1937. In addition, there are various special courts set up including for POCSO, NDPS, MACT amongst others. The District Consumer Forum also falls within the ambit.
IV. District Legal Services Authority (DLSA)
The District Legal Services Authority, Williamnagar has been established under the aegis of the Meghalaya State Legal Service Authority. The District & Sessions Judge is the Chairman and the Chief Judicial Magistrate is the Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority, East Garo Hills. The DLSA plays a key role in enhancing the access to justice, legal aid and helping citizens realise their rights. It achieves this by driving key programs and a harnessing a network of para legal volunteers (PLVs).