MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
WINTER SESSION, 1998
(Thursday, the 17th December, 1998)
The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Deputy Speaker in the chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government business.
Starred questions Nos.8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21 with supplementaries thereto were replied, Nos. 9, 13, 17, 18, 19 and 22 without any supplementary were replied and Nos.24 to 97 without any supplementary disposed of. Unstarred questions Nos.1 to 19 to which written replies were given, were laid on the tables.
2. ZERO HOUR NOTICE UNDER RULE 49(A) :
Under Rule 49(A) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of the Business, Shri P.M. Syiem raised in matter of great Public importance with regard to a news-item which appeared in "U Nongsain Hima" dated 8.12.98 under the caption "Dawa Pisa Ki Pulit Assam na ki Nongrep ha Jaintia Hills".
Replying to the Zero Hour, the Chief Minister, Shri B.B. Lyngdoh apprised the hon. Member from Mylliem that Khanduli area is an area of dispute between Meghalaya and Assam whereby the two State Government are yet to finalise the problem of Inter State boundary in the above sector and that it was agreed earlier at the Chief Ministers level that pending settlement, a status quo should be maintained by both Government and if any State Government desires to undertake any development work in such area approval of the other side will be required. However, he stated that it appeared from the newspaper report that the Joint Action Committee of Jaintia Hills had submitted a memorandum to the House Minister alleging that the Government of Assam had sent their police force to the villages of Umpawiang, Khanduli and Mukoiram with a view to ensuring presence of Assam Government in the above villages and it was further alleged that the Assam Police personnel posted there had been resorting to extortion from the farmers of the area which he stated if found true, Government may view this matter with grave concern and that since the J.A.C., Jaintia Hills had submitted a memorandum to the Home Minister, the State Government will study the memorandum and will take necessary action as deem fit and proper.
3. GOVERNMENT BILLS :
1. Shri D.N. Joshi, Minister i/c Labour moved that the Employees' State Insurance (Extension to Tribal Areas of Meghalaya) Bill, 1998 be taken into consideration. But since there was no amendment. He further moved that the said bill be passed.
(The Motion was carried, the Employees' State Insurance (Extension to Tribal Areas of Meghalaya) Bill, 1998 was passed.)
4. SUSPENSION OF RULES :
Shri Kitdor Syiem, Minister i/c Forests moved :-
"That the second proviso to sub-rule (c) of Rule 72 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in its application for consideration of the Meghalaya Forest Regulation (Amendment ) Bill, 1998 be suspended for the time being in so far as the rule requires circulation of the Bill four days before the motion for consideration can be moved."
(The motion was carried, sub rule (c) of Rule 72 was suspended for the time being).
Shri K. Syiem, Minister i/c Forests moved that the Meghalaya Forest Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 1998 be taken into consideration. But since there was no amendment to the said bill, he further moved that the same be passed.
(The motion was carried and the Meghalaya Forest (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 1998 was passed).
5. SUSPENSION OF RULES :
Shri Sujit Sangma, Minister i/c Transport moved:-
"That the second proviso to sub-rule (c) of Rule 72 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in its application for consideration of the Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 1998 be suspended for the time being in so far as the rule requires circulation of the Bill four days before the motion for consideration can be moved."
(The motion was carried sub-rule (c) of Rule 72 was suspended for the time being)
Shri Sujit Sangma, Minister i/c Transport moved that the Motor Vehicle Taxation (Amendment) Bill 1998 be taken into consideration. But since there had been no amendment to the said bill, he further moved that the same be passed.
(The motion was carried, the Meghalaya Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 1998 was passed.
6. THE MEGHALAYA TRANSFER OF LAND ( REGULATION ) AMENDMENT BILL, 1998 :
Shri A.H.Scott Lyngdoh, Minister i/c Revenue moved that the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 1998 be taken into consideration.
Shri A.T. Mondal, moved the following amendment to sub-clause (c) of clause 3A (i):
"After sub-clause (c) of Clause 3A (i) the following new sub-clause be added:
(d) by a will created by a non-tribal in favour of another non-tribal or in favour of any institution or welfare organisation working in the field of education, culture, environment and economic development of the State".
He suggested the Government to do justice to the genuine non-tribals in the State and pleaded for the acceptance of his amendment.
Shri C.R. Marak took part and suggested that the bill be given publicity for eliciting public opinion and should be brought in the next session but not immediately. Shri H.S. Lyngdoh suggested that the Bill be referred to the Select Committee. Shri P.M. Syiem supported the suggestion to refer this Bill to the Select Committee for eliciting public opinion.
Replying to the discussions, Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Revenue Minister, stated that the amendment tabled by the hon. Member from Phulbari thrusts. Firstly, it permits transfer of land from one non tribal in favour of another by means of a will and secondly, to permit transfer of land in favour of the institutions or organisations working in the field of education, culture etc. The second part of which was covered under Act 11 of 1991 under section 4 (e) and (f) which had been incorporated in the main Act specifically for this purpose and the first part of the amendment goes primarily against the spirit of the Act and the amendment proposed through this bill which is presently under consideration. He further stated that of the recent judicial pronouncement, the transfer of land by a will is not barred and that this goes against the spirit of the Act and will result in illegal and benami transactions and informed the mover that this was the reason why Government has proposed to restrict the transfer of land but since this amendment was in counter with another amendment tabled by Shri A.T. Mondal, he agreed that the bill be referred to the Select Committee.
7. ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE CHAIR :
The Speaker, informed the House that the Minister incharge Revenue should have come up with a motion under Rule 73 at the initial stage if the Government desires to refer this bill to the Select Committee. Similarly, he reminded the Opposition side that next time if they want to refer any bill to a select Committee, they should come up with a formal motion as envisaged under the rules of procedure and because of the seriousness of the matter, he referred the bill somotto to the Select Committee and that the Committee should submit its report in the next session. He put the motion to vote, the question was that the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 1998 be referred to the Select Committee.
The motion was carried, the Bill was referred to the Select Committee and the committee to submit its report in the next session of the Assembly)
(The members of the Select Committee will be announced by the Speaker latter on in consultation with the Minister incharge of the Bill)
8. MOTIONS :
(The Speaker took the sense of the House that discussion on motion should conclude at 1.30 p.m.)
Shri Clifford R. Marak, moved motion No.2
This House do now discuss the bad shape condition of the road construction in Meghalaya in general and in Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills in particular.
He urge the department concerned to improve the condition of roads in the State for the upliftment of the economy.
Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, Shri A.T. Mondal, Shri A.L. Hek, Shri P.M. Syiem, Shri M.M. Dango, Dr. F.A. Khonglam and Shri Ton Singh N. Marak, Shri A.D. Marak took part.
(His deliberations remained inconclusive to continue next time.)
9. DISCUSSION UNDER RULE 50:
Shri P.M. Syiem moved "that this House do now discuss holding of Shillong Municipal Board Election on 15-1-99 and the reaction of the various N.G.Os, Synjuk ki Rangbah Shnong and General Public".
He called for clarification as regards the reasons that have prompted the Government to announce recently the holding of second phase of Election to the Shillong Municipal Board inspite of the opposition from the Synjuk ki Rangbah Shnong and other N.G.Os. He also urged upon the State Government to review this decision in the interest of the public.
Shri H.S. Lyngdoh and Dr. F.A. Khonglam took part the supported the views expressed by the hon. Member from Mylliem.
(The Speaker took the sense of the House to extend the sitting up to 2.30 p.m. till this business is completed.)
Smti R. Warjri, Minister i/c Urban Affairs replied to the points raised by the mover and the other participants. She stated that Government was equally concerned with the court's verdict and was very much a lived to the reaction by the S.R.S. and the N.G.Os. She placed on records the exact position and the stand of the Government on this very sensitive issue.
She stated that the election to the Shillong Municipal Board had been done in accordance with the judgement of the Gauhati High Court directing the State Government to refrain from proceeding with election process as proposed in the amendment in the ordinance already promulgated by the Government.
However, she stated that the Government had a series of meetings with the members of the public, the N.G.Os on this matter and the views of the Advocate General, the State Law Department had been sought in this regard for further course of action which clearly envisaged that section 32 of the Meghalaya Municipal Act, 1973 should remain in force until such time when the election to the Shillong Municipal Board is finally completed. However, she pointed out that the State Government may consider the amendment to the Municipal Act, 1973 only after the election to the remaining Wards are finally completed in accordance with the provision of the Constitution.
10. ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE CHAIR :
(1) The Speaker, informed the House that in pursuance of Rule 242 (1) of the Rules of Procedure & Conduct of Business 9 (nine) valid nominations were received in favour of following 5 (five) members to constitute the Committee of Public Accounts viz;. (1) Shri H.S. Lyngdoh (2) Shri F.A. Khonglam (3) Shri Tonsingh N. Marak (4) Shri P.D. Iangjuh and (4) Shri Kyrmen Susngi and since the number of candidates are equal to the number of seats to be filled, all the 5 (five) members had been declared elected to the Committee on P.A.C. and under sub-rule (1) of Rule 198, he appointed Shri H.S. Lyngdoh as the Chairman of the Committee.
(2) In pursuance of Rule 242 (b) of the Rule of Procedure & Conduct of Business, 7 (seven) valid nominations were received in favour of following 3 ( three) Members to the Committee on P.U.C. They are (1) Shri Kyrmen Susngi (2) Shri D.P. Iangjuh and (3) P.M. Syiem and since the number of candidates were equal to the number of seats to be filled all the 3 (three) members were declared elected to the Committee on Public Undertakings. Under sub-rule (1) of Rule 198 he appointed Shri Kyrmen Susngi as the Chairman of the Committee.
(3) In pursuance of Rule 244 (1) of the Rules of Procedure & Conduct of Business 10 (ten) valid nominations were received in favour of 5 (five) members to the Committee on Estimates. They were (1) Shri Tuberlin Lyngdoh (2) Shri Thrang Hok Rangad (3) Shri Simon Siangshai (4) Shri P.W. Muktieh and (5) Shri Kulert Ch. Momin and since the number of candidates were equaled to the no of seats to be filled all the 5 (five) members were declared elected to the committee on Estimates. The Speaker, appointed Shri Simon Siangshai as the Chairman of the Committee under sub-rule (1) of Rule 198.
(4) The Speaker, further informed the House that the House had constituted a Special Committee during the last Budget Session, 1998 under his chairmanship to go into the details on a very important issue namely, a news-item which appeared in the Delhi "Midday" of February, 1998 under the caption "letter to Atal exposes Sangh's Communal Plot in North-East". He stated that the Committee had collected necessary information from the sources and even a letter to the Prime Minister had been issued requesting him to take up the matter at his level for which the Prime Minister has promptly replied. However, he pointed and that this committee will submit its report on the matter at the earliest.
(5) He also informed that he had received a notice dt. 26.6.98 under Rule 158 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business tabled by Shri Cyprian R. Sangma against Shri Clifford R. Marak and Shri Nimarson Momin which complaint relates to the Joint petition dated 19th June 1998 tabled by Shri Clifford R. Marak and Shri Nimarson Momin for disqualification under 10th Schedule. He further stated that in the course of examination for referring it to the Committee of Privileges, he received a communications dated 3.9.98 signed by Shri C.R. Marak and Shri Nimarson Momin whereby they have decided to withdraw the case against Shri Cyprian R. Sangma. In view of this, he ordered that the Privilege motion tabled by Shri Cyprian R. Sangma against Shri Clifford R. Marak and Shri Nimarson Momin was withdrawn and the matter dropped.
Further, he apprised that after a careful perusal of the various complaints of the various complaints of the three petitioners in their respective cases, he found that the issues in the respective cases were all identical and that they related to the declaration of the respondents in the cases were subject to disqualification under the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution and since the petitioners in the cases had withdrawn their respective complaints on the ground of understanding and compromise thereby making their prayers that they may be allowed to withdraw their respective cases and to treat the matter as closed, hence, in view of the above, be refrained himself from making any comments on the facts and circumstances of the cases and accordingly, he had allowed the withdrawal and the cases namely, (1) H.S. Lyngdoh versus Mrs. Maysalin War, (2) Shri C. R. Marak and Shri Nimarson Momin versus Shri Cyprian R. Sangma and (3) Shri M. Suchiang versus Shri Martin M. Dango were all treated as closed and dropped. However, he made it crystal clear that this order shall never create any future precedent
12. PROROGATION :
Since the business of the House came to a conclusion, the House rose at 2.40 p.m. and stood prorogued.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.