MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

WINTER SESSION, 2004

(MONDAY, THE 20th DECEMBER, 2004)

              The House met at 10 a. m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of both Government Business and Private member's Business.

1.    QUESTIONS :

            Starred question Nos. 28,29,30,31 and 32 with Supplementaries thereto. Nos. 33 to 56 without any Supplementary, have been disposed of.

2.    POINT OF ORDER :

            Under Rule 300 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri Zenith M. Sangma raised a Point of Order with regard to his Privilege motion which he had submitted in the last Session but because of some reasons it cannot be taken up in the last Session. However, the Deputy Speaker has assured that the matter will be taken up today and hence, he requested that he may be allowed to move now.
            Shri A. L. Hek took part and stated that the allegation has no locus stand since it was based only on newspaper report and submitted that it should not be allowed to move.
            Shri T. D. Shira also took part and supported Shri A. L. Hek.
            Shri Zenith M. Sangma reiterated that he should be allowed to move since the Member concerned was not present in  the last Session and since the Speaker had ruled that the Privilege motion will be taken up in the current Session.
            Quoting from Parliamentary practice and Procedure Volume II page 191 and Volume II page 1132 and also Rule 162 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, the hon. Member from Mylliem subscribed that the matter be left to the Chair to decide on this very vexed issue.
            Participating on the Point of Order Dr. Mukul Sangma, Minister incharge Education, argued that the fact which has been brought to the august House vis-a-vis the question of breach of privilege is very serious because of the simple reason that the statement which has been published in the media had cast direct auspersion to the Office of the Speaker of his being partisan.
            After listening to the views and opinions from both sides of the House, the Chair called upon Zenith M. Sangma to move his Privilege Motion against Shri E. K. Sangma, MLA.
            Moving his Privilege Motion against the hon. Member from Dadenggiri under Rule 159 of the Rules and Procedure of Business, Shri Zenith M. Sangma referred to a newspaper report published in the 'Shillong Times' dated April, 2004 were in Shri E. K. Sangma had reportedly alleged partiality of the Speaker in conducting the proceeding of the House and that he had acted as a puppet to the Ruling side. Hence, the mover was of a firmed opinion that there is enough prima-facie evidence to refer this case to the Privilege Committee.
            Shri R. G. Lyngdoh took part. He said that the allegation made against the hon. member was based on newspaper report and that nothing has been heard from him whether it is correct or a mistake by the Press and suggested that he should be given a chance to defend himself before he is prosecuted or hang.
            The word "hang" was withdrawn by the hon. Member as ordered by the Chair.
            Smti. D. C. Marak, Minister incharge Tourism felt that the matter should be allowed today since it is a very serious issue which may create a precedent in the House and which was never given a rejoinder by the concerned Member. 
            Shri R. G. Lyngdoh suggested that the hon. Member from Dadenggiri be given a chance to prepare his defence statement and after that the House shall decide its further course of action. Dr. Mukul, Minister incharge Education endorsed the suggestion put forth by Shri R. G. Lyngdoh.
            Ascertaining the views from both sides, the Speaker referred this matter to the Privilege Committee under Rule 162 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business for consideration and to submit its report in the next Session.

3.    THE MEGHALAYA STATE LANGUAGE BILL, 2004 :

            Shri D. D. Lapang, Chief Minister introduced the Meghalaya State Language Bill. 2004.

4.    THE CONTINGENCY FUND OF MEGHALAYA (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2004 :

            Before the Minister incharge introduce the above Bill, Shri P.M. Syiem raised a Point of Order to the effect that under Rule 66 (I) of Clause I the said bill should be accompanied by financial Memorandum and estimates on recurring and non-recurring expenses.
            Replying to the Point of Order, the Deputy Chief Minister incharge Finance clarified that it was not necessary since it was just an Amendment. Thereafter, he introduced the Contingency Fund of Meghalaya (Amendment) Bill, 2004 on being asked to do so by the Chair.

5.    THE MEGHALAYA TRANSFER OF LAND (REGULATION) AMENDMENT BILL, 2004 :

            Dr. Donkupar Roy, Deputy Chief Minister incharge Revenue introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2004.

6.    THE MEGHALAYA STATE COMMISSION FOR WOMEN BILL, 2004 :

            Shri M. N. Mukhim, Minister incharge Social Welfare introduced the Meghalaya State Commission for Women Bill, 2004.

7.    SUSPENSION OF RULE :

            Not later had the Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs moved the motion for suspension of time, then Shri R. G. Lyngdoh raised a point of order pleading for more time to be given to the Members to discuss on these Bills instead of just two clear days notice.
            Making his observation in this regard, the Speaker ruled out that henceforth if the Government whenever it desire to introduce the Bill it should make it a point to inform the Assembly Secretariat well ahead of time and not when the Business Advisory Committee had finalised the Calendar. He asked the Government and the Departments concerned to take note of this before they come to the House with the introduction of the Bills.
            Shri J. D. Rymbai, Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs moved that the Rule 77(I) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in so far as the afore mentioned Bills are concerned be suspended for the time being in so far as the rule required two clear days notice of amendments to the Bills before the day on which the Bills are to be considered.
            ( The motion was carried and the Rule 77(I) was suspended for the time being).

8.    RESOLUTIONS :

            Shri H. S. Lyngdoh moved the following Resolutions :-
            This House do now resolve, not to shift the venue of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Building, but to build in the same site.
            Moving his Resolution, the hon. Member from Nongstoin came down heavily on the Government for destroying environment at Khyndailad (Police Bazar) where the Assembly building is located. The mover lamented at the pitiable plight of the present scene whereby all the ornamental trees have been cut and the heritage site demolished.  He was of the view that the huge round block and the space already bulldozed will simply provide and encourage a place for beggars to loiter in the area.
            The hon. mover stated that Mawdiangdiang situated in the northern part of Shillong and it is within the scheduled area and that it is quite an unhealthy place. He was pessimistic that the people might face various problems to move around from here to Mawdiangdiang especially, those who come from rural interior areas from places like West Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills. He urged upon the government to review its decision to shift the Assembly building.
            Shri A. L. Hek, Shri J. A. Lyngdoh, Shri E. K. Sangma, Shri P. T. Sawkmie, Shri M. Rava, Shri B.G. Momin, Shri R. G. Lyngdoh, Shri Mihsalan Suchiang and Shri P. M. Syiem, supported the Resolution whereas Shri Zenith M. Sangma, Shri Lambor Malngiang, Shri Charles Pyngrope and Shri Boldness Nongrum opposed.
            Shri E. D. Marak and Shri R. L. Tariang took part.
            In reply to the points raised by the mover of the Resolution and other Members who have taken part, D. D. Lapang, Chief Minister stated that he was happy that the members have admitted that Shillong is very congested and the traffic jams are on the increase day by day and that explosion may come up at any time because of the traffic jams. The Chief Minister recalled an instance where he himself was stranded and it took forty five minutes from Nongthymmai to reach the Secretariat and that, too, with police escorts. As regards the security to the MLAs to go to Mawdiangdiang area from here, he told the House that the High Power Committee had taken this with seriousness and that this was simply the decision of the Government but that the H.P.C. was jointly responsible in this regard. Recalling the past experience right from the time he was the Deputy Chief Minister when few Ministers could not reach the House in time during Question Hour, he informed that it was the wisdom of the H.P.C. to consider shifting.
            Referring to the first sitting of the H.P.C. under the Chairmanship of Shri E. D. Marak wherein other areas like Upper Shillong, Central Library, Barik Point and Mawdiangdiang have been identified, the Chief Minister clarified that only Mawdiangdiang was found to be most feasible and that it was on this context the H.P.C. had decided on 25-8-2004 that Mawdiangdiang to be a better place.
            With regard to the land at Mawdiangdiang, he said that it was acquired in 1995-96 from one Kliarsi Wahlang and not from highups. Further, he told that in the M.D.A. meeting he had discussed at length over the matter and all Members have endorsed the idea of shifting and that everything is ready in the Master plan prepared by the Government. He called upon all the members to forge ahead and try to realise the necessity to shift with a sense of unity and he requested the mover to withdraw the Resolution.
            ( The House was extended untill this business is disposed of )
            Before the mover of the Resolution made up his mind whether to withdraw the Resolution or not Shri Paul Lyngdoh, pointed out that the matter was discussed and the decision was jointly taken by the Government and the Assembly Secretariat. For the information of the House he read out the names of the Members of the H.P.C.
            Dr. Mukul Sangma submitted that it has been the practice and convention of this House that anything decided in the forum, body or Committee of the Assembly, the decision cannot be taken as the only decision by the Government and that in the present circumstances  this  decision of shifting was not the sole decision of the Government but in the context of the interest of the august House in which the Hon'ble Speaker was the Chairman of the H.P.C.
            Shri R. G. Lyngdoh, Shri E. K. Sangma, Shri B. G. Momin took part and requested the Government to reconsider its decision in the interest of the general public.
            Since the hon. mover of the Resolution was not willing to withdraw and after having listened to the views expressed from both sides of the House, the Speaker put the main question before the House. The question was that this House do now resolve not to shift the venue of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly building and to build in the same site or any other place within Shillong City. (The ayes have it, the motion was carried).
            (29 Members rose above their feet in favour of the Resolution whereas 18 Members were against the Resolution).

9.    ADJOURNMENT :

            The House rose at 2.35 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Tuesday the 21st December, 2004.

 

 

Secretary,

 

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.