Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong at 10 a.m on the 28th June, 1971 with the hon'ble Speaker, in the Chair.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(To which replies were laid on the Table)

Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin with today's list of business. Unstarred Question No.29.


Agro-Industries in Garo Hills.

Shri Grohonsing  Marak asked :

29. Will the Minister, Agriculture be pleased to state -

        (a) What specific Agro-Industries have so far been covered in district of Garo Hills for development purposes?

        (b) Whether the schemes are prepared by the Departments without consultation with the M.L.As or M.D.Cs of the District?

        (c) Whether the Government proposes to make any special study as to the capacity of Agro-based Industries during this plan year?

        (d) If so, what are the specific schemes started by it for execution?

        (e) Whether Agro-Industries Corporation has started functioning in Garo Hills?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Agriculture) replied :

29. (a) - A branch of the Assam Agro-Industries Development Corporation Ltd., is functioning in Garo Hill since 1969.

      (b) - A branch of the Assam Agro-Industries was set up in Garo Hills by the Government of Assam details which are not available with the Government.

    (c) - The matter is under consideration of the Government.

    (d) - Does not arise.

    (e) Yes in view of (a) above,

Construction of Nongtalang Hospital

Shri Johndeng Pohrmen asked :

30. Will the Minister in charge of Health be pleased to state -

        (a) Whether the Government has re-prepared plan and estimates for the construction of the Nongtalang 10 bedded hospital?

        (b) If not, whether the Government will take steps to have the plan and estimates re-prepared without delay and the construction of the same be resumed within the current financial year?

        (c) Whether any steps have been taken to provide Doctors and Pharmacists in all dispensaries and health units that are at present without these personnel?

Shri Sandford Marak (Minister, Health, Education, etc) replied :

30    (a) - Yes.

        (b) - Construction work will be taken after administrative approval is accorded.

        (c) - Yes.

Shri Johndeng Pohrmen :- May I know, Sir, how many dispensaries and doctors have been provided.

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance for Medical) :- I require notice.

Construction of bridge over the Jinary River at Gokgolgiri

Shri Grohonsing Marak asked :

31. Will the Minister of P.W.D (R & B) be pleased to state -

        (a) Whether it is a fact that the bridge over Jinari River at Gokgol giri will not be constructed during this financial year?

        (b) If so, why?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, P.W.D (R & B) etc] replied :

31.  (a) - The scheme is under investigation.

        (b) - Does not arise.

Dolongiri-Rongrong Road

Shri Grohonsing Marak asked :

32. Will the Minister, P.W.D (R & B) be pleased to state -

        (a) Whether it is a fact that survey work of Dolongiri-Rongrong Road Via Gabil in the Garo Hills has been stopped without completion?

        (b) If so,  the reason thereof?

Shri Edwingson Bareh [Minister, P.W.D (R.& B), etc] replied :

32. (a) - No, it is not a fact.

        (b) Does not arise.


Government Bill

Mr. Speaker :- Item No.2 In the absence of the Chief Minister, may I request the Finance Minister to move that the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) (Amendment) Bill, 1971, be taken in to consideration.

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh, (Minister, Finance) :- I beg to move that the Prevention of Disqualification (Member of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya)  (Amendment) Bill, 1971, be take in to consideration.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question. The question is that the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) (Amendment) Bill, 1971, be taken in to consideration (The motion was carried). As there is no amendment to this Bill, may I request the Finance Minister to move the motion for passing.

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh, (Minister, Finance) :- Sir, I beg to move that the Bill be passed.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question, The question is that the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) (Amendment) Bill, 1971 be passed.

        (The motion was carried, and the Bill passed).

Mr. Speaker :- Item No.3

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Forests) :- Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya (Wild Animals and Birds Protection) Bill 1971, be taken in to consideration.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion, moved.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I  have just a little say on this. While the Bill is welcome, which is very much necessary, I just like to draw the attention of the House, and particularly the Minister that it is also necessary that the State of Meghalaya takes steps for the establishment of a zoological garden which I think, is a very important step. I know that it cannot be objective, in the  process of the consideration, of this Bill, but I thought it right to bring up this matter, since a zoological garden for the preservation of the fauna and flora which is very rich in the hills, will go a long way in having not only tourist attraction, but also preservation of various beautiful specimens of animals and birds found in the hills. So, I just bring this matter for the consideration of the Minister.

*Shri Witherson Momin :- May I draw the attention of the House to some points which need clarification. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, before the passing of this Bill, I want to raise one point, At page 1, Section 2, I do not find definition of Police Officer and I do not know the reason why.

Mr. Speaker :- That you can find in the Police Act itself.

Shri Witherson Momin :- When we do not find the definition of Police Officer, ................ 

Mr. Speaker :- The Police officer has got nothing to do in this Bill. When the law is made, it is the duty of the police officer as guardian of the law to see that law is respected and take any person to book, if he violates this rule. That you can find in the Police Act and also the functions of the Police Officer can be found in the Police Act.

Shri Witherson Momin :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, my second point is that in section 5 page 2, it is said "The Government may, by notification, declare the whole year or any part thereof to be a close time throughout the whole or any part of Meghalaya for any kind of wild animals or birds to which this Act applies, of for female or immature wild animals or birds to which this Act, applies, or for female or immature wild animals or birds of such kind : and subject to the provision here in a after contained ..................... " Sir, I do nto think we will be in a position to safeguard, the life of birds and animals which we want to keep. Because I think, no effective purpose will be served if certain part of a year in open for killing and capturing of birds and animals. Moreover, how we will know that this particular period or seasons of a year which is is open for killing and capturing is not detrimental to a particular kind of birds of animals ..................... 

Shri Akramozzaman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir,.. ... ... ... .. 

Mr. Speaker :- The hon. Member, Shri Witherson Momin, is still having the floor.

Shri Witherson Momin  :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the House to Section 6 Sub - section (c) wherein it is stated "Unless he is satisfied that such persons ................. " But my objection here is to the use of the word "unless". Because it is very confusing and I do not actually follow the meaning, I think it will defeat the very purpose of the Bills.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of order, I would like to state that the hon . Member should have brought an amendment on the use of the word "Unless".

Mr. Speaker :- So long I was silent I understand that the hon. member is not against the use of the word "unless" Probably he wants a clarification.

Shri Witherson Momin :- Yes, Sir, that is my point. Now I would like to draw the attention of the House to section 19 where in it is stated in the second para that "nothing in this section shall exonerate any person who , when such defence becomes necessary was committing any contravention of this Act" Here also I do nto understand the exact meaning of the word "exonerate'. Why it should be "exonerate". There is another point section 22, which I object, i.e. the protection of the female and wild animals only, why there should be discrimination between male and female (Laughter).

*Shri Akramozzaman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the  state of Meghalaya there are two classes of forests, one is Reserved Forests under the State Government of Meghalaya and another is Unclassed Forests under the administration of the District Council. Similarly Forest Officers are also divided; one set under the Government and another set under the District Council. Our Government Forest Officers, are posted to look after the a small area. When final legislation is passed, it should be seen that it is effectively administered. In Garo Hills, the Meghalaya Government shall have Forest Officers for Baghmara Reserve Forests, etc. A police officer should also be posted there to enforce the Act effectively. Now, according to the definition, the Government Forest Officers are "persons appointed by name or holding an officer by or under the orders of the Government to be a Conservator, Deputy Conservator, Assistant Conservator, Extra Assistant Conservator, Deputy Forest Ranger,  Forest Ranger, Forest or Forest Guard, or to discharge any function of a Forest Officers" I would like to know whether the Forest Officers, under the District Council are also similarly entitled to enforce the provision of the Act like to Government Forest Officers or not.

Shri E.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification, under Section 16, para (1),. which says that "except on the complaint of report of a Forest or Police Officer or of any other officers authorised by the Government of this behalf"  ............., I want to know whether the Syiems, Wahadars, Nokmas, etc, are also authorised officers in this respect under the Act or not.

Shri Johndeng Pohrmen :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also want to point out over and above that whether the Forests Officer of the State Government can take action on anybody irrespective of the Government Forest Officers and District Council Forest Officers, if power is so conferred upon him or not. That  is my point.

Shri Alwot B. Diengdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to get some clarification at page, 2, Section 5 of the Bill under the main heading 'Close Time' so far as my information goes, the gun license mentions the work 'close season' but here it mentions about the 'time' and in the same Section nothing has been mentioned about the restriction of selling of meat in open season.

Mr. Speaker :- Definitely it will be unlawful, But what type of meat? There are different kinds of meat offered for sale like beef, pork and other kinds (Laughter).

Shri Alwot B. Diengdoh :- Meat of protected animals.

       At page 8 in Schedule II 'Birds' the last item 23- 'And all other birds except vermin like crow, hawks, sparrow, magpie, parakeets and bulbuls' I do nto know why we cannot shoot crow, sparrow, bulbuls etc. I want all these clarifications.

Shri Rokendra Dkhar :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want one clarification - a very small one. In this Bill we see all the paraphernalia of the Bill like Preamble, Short Title and the like, but we do not see the extent of the Bill.

Mr. Speaker :- Area of operation. Will the Minister reply?

Shri S.D.D Nichols Roy (Minister, Forest) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very very glad that the Members have taken so much interest. It indicates interest that has been taken earlier when many Member had asked the Government to bring in such an Act. I would like to make it very clear that this is an enabling Act. It had not laid down any particular closed season. This is enabling Act to study the position and the put down which particular animals or birds are to be prohibited from being killed in which particular time. For instance, it may so happen that for a certain particular animal we may have a closed season for the whole year, or we may have certain periods, say, one or two periods or any time may be decided. It may have a closed season for three months or six months in a year. So this is an enabling Act under which the Government can take up to provide rules and see which particular animals  require protection from capture of killing so that certain species will be be exterminated. Primarily the basis of the Act has been against the indiscriminate killing of certain animals for commercial purposes which had been noticed. It was primarily one of the few places in the whole of India which the Expert Committee on Wild Life Conservation reported that this was one of the few places where there was n Act against the indiscriminate killing of animals and birds, Mr. Witherson Momin was concerned about the this that in certain parts of the year we allowed killing. Well, it all depends on each particular animal. During the open season people are certainly allowed to kill certain animals, unless, restrictions are there. If they are enough or in plenty, they are allowed to shoot for sport. We have not laid down the conditions. But if there are certain animals that are threatened with extermination, we may keep a closed season for the whole year. Now, Mr. Momin also asked clarification regarding police officer. That has been defined in the police Act. He also said regarding section 6 (c). Section 6 (c) is to give authority to the officers concerned to seize an animals bird, trophy, weapons, vehicles etc. and unless he is satisfied that such persons will appear and answer and charge which may be preferred against him without warrant, arrest and detain him. There may be certain people who can be trusted and can be know to appear and answer charges and the he is given the authority to decide whether to seize them. If he is not, satisfied that a person will appear in court or answer, chargers, he can even arrest and detain him, if necessary. So I think this is merely of the standard procedures of implementing an Act, giving authority to the Officer concerned to implement the act without making it obligatory in all circumstances to arrest, detain in or seize, as the case may be. Mr. Momin, also wanted clarification on wild birds of female species of wild birds, which is covered by section 5, in which it is clearly mentioned about female or immature birds or animals. So in each case we do not need  to mention a female gender of each animal which is covered by section 5.

Mr. Speaker :- Generally man means woman.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Forests) :- He mentioned about section 19 which I could not understand.

        Mr. Zaman raised an important point which has been considered by the Government what would be the process of administering this Act in the unclassified forests which are the administrative control of the District Council. Now, so far as this particular Act is concerned, the protection of wild animals does nto under the purview of the District Councils and so it was necessary for the State Government to do it for  the whole of Meghalaya. It does not cover the whole of Meghalaya. We are considering the proper method of enforcing this Act and according to paragraph 6 of the Sixth Schedule Section 6 (2), "The Governor may, with the consent of any District Council, entrust conditionally or unconditionally to the District Council's Officers the functions in relation to Agriculture and animal Husbandry, etc or other matters to which the Executive Powers of the State of Assam and Meghalaya, as the case may be have been extended, It is the intention of the Government, with the consent of the District Councils, to entrust the functions of enforcement of this Act to Council Officers in the District Council areas, and it will cover the points raised by Shri Akramozzaman. In the matter of properly administering the Act in the Unclassed forests where the Government does not have normally its own officers there are District Council's Forest Officers. This  is the same point raised by Mr., John Deng Pohrmen, According to the Act whatever Officer is empowered under this Act he will be able to enforce this Act in the whole State of Meghalaya according to Section 2 (b) While Mr. Alwot Diengdoh, raised the point of selling of meat, as I have said this Act is an enabling Act to control selling or buying meat or capturing animals during the closed season and to restrict and control selling or buying of meat etc., captured or killed during such closed time. It does not cover the control over selling or buying during open season time. Mr. Kyndiah made a very good suggestion regarding zoos. Of course nothing can be done under this Bill. This is will be taken up separately, and Government is examining the question of zoological gardens, It has nothing really to do with this particular Act.

Mr. Speaker :- Is Government thinking of a Wild Life Sanctuary and Zoological Garden?

Shri S.S.D Nichols Roy (Minister, Forest, etc) :- Both are under the consideration.

        While Mr. Alwot Diengdoh raised the question of crows, I do not think it is necessary to  put them in the list at this time as they are not one threatened with extermination. As the to the areas of operation of this Act, raised by Mr. Rokendro Dkhar I have said that it extends to the whole State of Meghalaya. The general clause of the Act also refers to the whole of Meghalaya.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the statement of objects and reasons, it is clearly started that in order to bring order and reasons in the existing state of affairs it is now proposed to have an Act which will close all the lope holes and will also apply to the whole of Meghalaya. Mr. Rokendro Dkhar did not read the statement of objects and reason a of the Act.

Shri Johndeng Pohrmen :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, Mr. Alwot Diengdoh mentioned about any officer.

Shri S.S.D Nichols Roy (Minister, Forests, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Bill defends the Officer as those under the Government and I have said already in Para 6 that the Officers under the District Council may be entrusted conditionally or unconditionally with the consent of the District Council, as would depend on the discussion with the District Council concerned.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- Whether it is the intention of the Bill to have non-officials because I know quite a number of no - officials also have been appointed as forests to help the administration.

Shri S.D.D Nichols Roy (Minister, Forests, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Act is very clear, I think the hon. Member does not seem to understand the Act. The intention and implementation of the Act is clear Implementation of the Act will depend on certain things. We cannot legislate on the officers under the District Councils by this House. We can entrust the function under Para-6 of the Bill. Therefore, Government can do something in consultation with another body. But I do not think it is necessary for us to discuss about the intention.

Mr. Speaker :- Actually Mr. Kyndiah says if there are members of the public who would like to cooperate, and the Government may consider taking them as honorary officer including Forest officers, and that could be brought under the rules.

Shri Rokendro Dkhar :- It is the honorary forest officers according to the rules.

Shri S.S.D Nichols Roy (Minister, Forests, etc) :- According to the definition the offers for a particular purpose may be any person appointed by name of holding an office by or under the orders of the Government be the Conservator, Assistant Conservator, Extra Assistant Conservator, Deputy Forest Ranger, Forest Ranger Forester or Forest Guard, or to discharge an function of a Forest Officer which includes at any time those empowered by Government as honorary forest officers.

Mr. Speaker :- So after we have had a very good discussion on the subject and a very convincing reply, I t the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya (Wild Animals and Birds Protection) Bill, 1971 be taken into consideration.

(The Motion carried)

        Since there is no amendment to the Bill may I request the Minister-in-charge to move the motion for passing.

Shri S.D.D Nichols Roy (Minister, Forests, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya (Wild Animals and Birds Protection) Bill, 1971 be passed.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question is that the Meghalaya (Wild Animals and birds Protection) Bill, 1971 be passed.

(The Motion was carried and the Bill passed)

Mr. Speaker :- Now we come to the next item, in the list of business. The Finance Minister to move the motion for consideration the Meghalaya (Minister's Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1971, But before that let me read the message from the Governor of Assam.

        "In exercise of the powers conferred by Sub - Section (3) of Section 37 of the Assam Re-organisation (Meghalaya) Act, 1969 (Central Act 55 of 1969), I Braj Kumar Nehru, Governor of Assam exercising my functions as Governor in relation to Meghalaya hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the consideration of the Meghalaya (Minister's Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1971".

Dated Raj Bhavan :

Sd /- BRAJ KUMAR NEHRU

Shillong

Governor.

The 23rd June, 1971.

Shri Witherson Momin :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, is it not necessary to circulate the Governor's message?

Mr. Speaker :- That is not necessary.

        The Finance Minister to move that the Meghalaya (Minister's Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1971 be taken in to consideration.

Shri B.B Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya (Minister's Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1971 be taken  in to consideration.

Mr. Speaker :- The Motion moved. The question is that Meghalaya (Minister's Salaries and Allowance). (Amendment) Bill, 1971 be taken in to consideration. (The Motion was carried).

        As there is no amendment to this Bill, may I request the Finance Minister to move the motion for passing.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Sir, I beg to move that the Bill be passed.

Mr. Speaker :- The Motion moved. The question is that the Meghalaya (Minister's Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1971 be passed.

(The Motion was carried and the Bill passed)


ADJOURNMENT

        Since there is no other business to be transacted today, the House stands adjourned till 10. AM on Tuesday the 29th June, 1971,

N. C. HANDIQUE,

Dated Shillong,

Secretary,

The 28th June, 1971.

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

*****