(Friday, the 19th June, 1998)

        The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government business.


        Dr. F.A. Khonglam, Minister incharge of Health & Family Welfare, introduced the Meghalaya Prohibition of Smoking and Non-Smokers Health Protection Bill, 1998.


        Shri H.B. Dan, Parliamentary Minister, moved Grant No.1. But no sooner than the chair put the question before the House, when Shri D.D. Lapang, Leader of Opposition raised a point of order under Rule 143 (1) of the Rules of Procedure & Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly seeking clarification as to whether the minority Government can bring these grants to the House for seeking its approval.

        Taking part in the discussion, the Minister incharge of Agriculture, Shri Clifford Marak pointed out that the question of this Government being in a minority or otherwise did not arise and requested the Leader of Opposition to wait till the no confidence motion comes up for discussion on the 25th June, 1998 as scheduled.

        The main question was thereafter put to a voice vote by the chair but the motion was not carried since at that point of time, Shri D.D. Lapang, leader of Opposition voiced his protest stating that they will not allow this particular grant to be passed and as such, pressed for a division. He asked "How will this minority Government bring these grants?"

        The point of order, was ultimately converted into a very protracted discussion in which Members from both sides of the House were given the opportunity by the chair to exchange their views on this issue.

        Quoting from the "Practice and Procedures in Parliament" by Kaul and Shakdher, the Speaker apprised the House that each demand presented to the House are classified into two categories viz., (1) voted and (2) Charged expenditures. He stated that since Grant No.1 falls under the Category of Charged expenditure, no cut motion has been admitted by him according to rules.

        He also quoted from Rules 146 (VII) and 147 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in connection with the admissibility of cut motions against Demands for Grants which states "The Speaker cannot admit cut motion if it shall not relate to expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of the State".  

        Referring further to Clause 3 of Article 202 of the Constitution of India and also from page 601 of the Practice & Procedure in Parliament by Kaul and Shakdher, the Speaker, observed that this particular Grant No.1 as well as grants Nos. 2, 3, and 4 are not subjected to voting in the House since they fall under the category of "charge expenditure".

        In the circumstances, he ruled out that the point of order raised by the Leader of Opposition was not relevant and also not admissible.


        The House rose at 1.10 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Monday, the 22nd June, 1998.


Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.