SHILLONG: The Meghalaya High Court has slapped a Rs 1 lakh fine on four persons for not allowing members of the indigenous Khasi faith to cremate their dead as per their religion, observing that they had disrespected the Constitution.
The four persons include a 'minister' of 'Hima Mylliem' in East Khasi Hills district, one of the local chiefdoms accorded sanctity by tribal autonomous district councils under the sixth schedule of the Constitution.
The Seng Khasi Mylliem, an organisation of the believers of Khasi faith, had filed a case alleging that the four accused were thwarting the believers from practising their religion by disallowing them to cremate the dead.
Delivering the verdict yesterday, Justice S R Sen said the four persons disrespected the Constitution by disallowing the Khasi faith believers to practise their religion.
The judge slapped on them a fine of Rs 1 lakh that would be used for the benefit of the juvenile inmates lodged in homes of the social welfare department.
The high court also directed the East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner to demarcate a site at Mylliem for the cremation of the members of the Niam Khasi (indigenous Khasi) and to take steps to develop the site within five months.
The judge also instructed the police to see that no one disturbs the believers.