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.
Starred questions Nos. 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 189, 190 with supplementaries thereto, starred question No.187 without any supplementary, starred question No.188 lapsed-questioner was absent and starred questions Nos. 191 upto 212 without supplementary were disposed of.
Unstarred questions Nos. 1 to 23 to which written answers were given have been laid on the tables.
No sooner had the Speaker called the House to order than Shri D.D. Lapang, Leader of Opposition raised a point of order with regard to a news item published in the Khasi daily "U Mawphor" dated 2-04-2001 under the caption " Minister extorts money from his own officer". He stated that since he got the newspaper on his way to the House this morning, he did not find room to bring the matter in accordance with the Rules and pleaded that it should be allowed to be discussed in the House after the question hour.
Shri C.R. Marak, Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, Shri R.G. Lyngdoh, Shri P.M. Syiem, Shri T.C. Lyngdoh, Shri S.C. Marak and Shri J.D. Rymbai expressed their opinions respectively and endorsed the suggestion put forth by the Leader of Opposition.
Quoting Rule 279(A) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, the Speaker stated that no allegation shall be made against any person unless the member has given previous intimation to the Speaker one hour before the commencement of the business of the House.
However, intervening in the discussion, Shri E.K. Mawlong, Chief Minister, quoted Rule 279 (A) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business and he suggested that an enquiry will be instituted against the allegation. The Chief Minister also referred to Rule 49 (A) he pointed out that it has been the practice in this august House that for any matter that a member wants to bring out, he could do so provided sufficient time is given to the Speaker and to the concerned Minister to prepare a reply but since in this instant case, they have brought this issue just now be reading from the newspaper, he stated that he did not see any reason why further discussion should be allowed. As such, he suggested that the matter will be looked into and that an enquiry will be caused to find out facts.
After protracted discussion, the Speaker, adjourned the House for 30 minutes to meet again at 11.55 a.m.
After adjournment, the House re-assembled at 12 noon with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.
The Speaker informed the House that an understanding has been reached in a meeting with the Chief Minister and the Leader of Opposition held in his Chamber and it was agreed upon that the Leader of Opposition will make his submission after which, the Chief Minister will reply.
Making his submission on the issue of alleged involvement of Shri Nimarson Momin, Minister in-charge of Civil Supplies, in the alleged corruption charges, Shri D.D. Lapang, Leader of Opposition mentioned that it was not the intention of the Opposition to violate the rules nor to malign the dignity and prestige of the House. Quoting from the newspaper reports, he was at a loss to understand how can the Minister in-charge cancel the transfer order already accorded to one S.I. of Supply, Shri Hadrian Lyngdoh after the two M.D.Cs (1) Shri H.N. Diengngan and (2) Shri J.G. Rynniaw accepted bribe of Rs.25, 000 from the above named S.I. of Supply unless he was not involved in the alleged shady deal. The Leader of Opposition demanded the resignation of the Minster in-charge for ensuring an impartial and judicious enquiry.
In reply to the points raised by the Leader of the Opposition, Shri E.K. Mawlong, Chief Minister stated that he has to ascertain the facts since it was found that more often than not newspapers gave distorted news and that in this particular case, the truth of the news item has to be verified and did not divulge at this juncture. However, he assured the House that necessary enquiry would be caused to investigate into the matter. He reiterated that the enquiry will be impartial and without victimising the S.I. of Supply and that the Government will try to expedite the same as early as possible.
Shri P.M. Syiem raised a zero hour notice under Rule 49 (A) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business on a news item which appeared in the Khasi Daily " U Rupang " dated 26-03-2001 under the caption " Byrngem iakhih tyngeh ki Nongtrei ka tnat Rep Jylla ".
Raising the above zero hour discussion , Shri P.M. Syiem, hon.Member from Mylliem desired to know what action the department has taken on the representations of the aggrieved technical employees, whether any amendment has been made to the existing Agriculture Service Rules till now ?
Replying to the Points raised in the zero hour notice, Shri M. Suchiang, Minister in-charge Agriculture apprised the hon. Member from Mylliem that the Meghalaya Agriculture Technical Government Employees Service Association had submitted the proposal on the 21st February, 2001 suggesting certain amendments to the Meghalaya Agriculture Service Rules 1996 so as to provide some facilities for promotion to the above categories of Staff. However, he stated that this matter is receiving the attention of the Government and appropriate steps will be taken to resolve this issue in such a manner that promotion facilities are provided by specifying the ration of posts to be filled up by a promotion and that it will be done in such a manner that it will at the same time ensure that the direct recruitment of agricultural graduates is also made in sufficient numbers at the lower levels of the Department so as to meet the requirement of the Department and especially in the interest of the farmers in the State.
Shri C.R. Marak called the attention of the Minister Home (Police) under Rule 54 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business to the news items published in the "North East Daily" dt.26th March, 2001 under the caption "Police accused of assaulting villagers in West Garo Hills".
Quoting from the above newspaper, the hon.Member from Chokpot requested the Home Minister to look into this matter very seriously and called for a judicial enquiry by an independent body to investigate into the alleged atrocities of the Police.
In reply to the Calling Attention, Shri T.H. Rangad, Minister in-charge Home (Police) informed the hon.Member from Chokpot that on receipt of the letter, he had called for a report on the incident and he had received the same on 29.3.2001. He stated that the raid had been conducted in the presence of both Shri M. Kharkrang, M.F.S., SDPO Mairang and Shri S. Nongtynger, M.P.S., Deputy D.S.P. (Hq) Nongstoin wherein nothing was found inside the House. Further, the Minister in-charge informed that on 7-3-2001, morning a group of about 100 women of Khongjoy and Chibak villages gathered at the Police camp at Khongjoy and demanded Rs.15,000/- which they alleged was taken by the police during the house search the previous night and that there was no mention made by them of attempted rape or attempted molestation as reported in the news item. However, he stated that they were advised to lodge a written complaint but they refused and became agitated and threw stones at the Police vehicles parked in front of the camp but they left the place after warning.
Refuting the allegation, he stated that the Police never admitted that a police constable has taken away the money from the house as reported in the above news item since there is also no proof that the police personnel who conducted the raids assaulted the mother-in-law of Shri Momin or attempted to outrage the modesty of his wife, as reported in the above news item and that till date there was no formal FIR complaint received by the Police on the above incident.
Shri D.D. Lapang, Leader of the Opposition, initiated the debate on the Governor's address. He called for measures from the Government to improve and strengthen the police force by extending more facilities to the police and to provide them with special treatment. He also urged upon the Government to establish hospitals in every district headquarters and to equip them with specialists. As regard Education, he suggested that in view of acute unemployment problem, vocational training should be introduced in the Schools. The Leader of Opposition also urged the Government to construct conference room, committee room for the public and to provide more fund under the Self-Help Group. He also impressed upon the Government to make a decision to approach the Central Government for its intervention in the boundary disputes with Assam. He supported the amendment to the motion of thanks.
Shri E.R. Kharkongor and Shri R. Rani took part and supported the motion of thanks to the Governor's address whereas Shri T.N. Marak, Shri Tuberlin Lyngdoh Nonglait, Shri C.R. Marak, Shri P.W. Muktieh and Shri T.C. Lyngdoh supported the amendment to the motion of thanks.
Shri A.D. Marak also took part.
( The sitting hour extended till all business slated for the day are disposed of ).
Shri E.K. Mawlong, Chief Minister, gave a categorical and detailed reply to the debate on the Governor's address. Describing the debate as exceptional and high standard the Leader of the House, lauded the role played by the Opposition for their constructive approach towards the policies and programmes enunciated by the Government. Replying to the amendments to the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address, he informed the House that steps have been taken to implement them in the right perspective. With regard to law and order problem, the Chief Minister stated that his Government will leave no stone unturned to ensure peace and tranquility in the State and called upon the misguided youths to follow the foot steps of those who surrendered, to come over ground and join the national main stream in order to bring back peace in the State. Further, he replied to all the points raised by the mover and all the participants and also to the various queries and clarifications sought for by them and assured that points that have been left out have been noted down by the concerned departments for their implementation. He called for the cooperation of both sides of the House, the N.G.Os, the traditional heads, the leaders of different religious organisation, to achieve the objectives of over all development in the State.
The amendment to the motion of thanks was thereafter, withdrew by the mover by the leave of the House.
The Speaker put the following motion to vote :-
"The Members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled in this Session, are deeply grateful to the Governor for the address which he has been pleased to deliver to this House today, the 16th March, 2001".
(The motion was carried and the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address adopted).
The following bills were passed by the House without any amendment :-
|The Meghalaya Commercial Crops Development Board ( Amendment ) Bill, 2001.|
|The Meghalaya Prohibition of manufacture, sale use and throwing of Low Density Plastic Bags Bill, 2001.|
Shri M.N. Mukhim, Minister in-charge Power, laid the Annual Financial Statement of the Meghalaya State Electricity Board for the year 2001-2002.
The House rose at 5.25 p.m. and stood prorogued.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.