Proceedings of the Emergent Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9.00 A. M. on Saturday the 9thAugust, 1975, in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up item No.1 of the list of business. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs to lay the Constitution (Fortieth Amendment) Bill, 1975.
Laying of the Constitution (Fortieth Amendment) Bill 1775.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Constitution (Fortieth Amendment) Bill, 1975, as passed by the two Houses of Parliament.
Mr. Speaker :- There will be a slight modification in the calendar. There will be an additional item I A- which will read:
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs to lay the papers entitled "Why Emergency".
Laying of the papers
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliament Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the papers entitled "Why Emergency".
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on the item No.2. The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs to move the Motion under Rule 316.
Motion for suspension of Rule
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affair) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following motion under Rule 316 that sub-rule (4) of Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure an Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in its application to the resolution for ratification of the Constitution (Fortieth Amendment) Bill, 1975, as passed by the two Houses of the Parliament, be suspended in so far as the said sub-rule requires seven days' notice for moving the Resolution."
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that sub-rule (4) of rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure an conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative assembly in its application to the resolution for ratification of the Constitution (Fortieth Amendment) Bill. 1975, as passed by the two Houses of parliament, be suspended on so far as the said sub- rule seven days' notice for moving the Resolution.
(The motion was carried.)
The said sub-rule stands suspended.
Let us pass on to item No.3. Minister for Law.
RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION (FORTIETH AMENDMENT) BILL, 1975
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House ratifies the amendments to the Constitution of India falling within the purview of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 368 thereof, proposed to be made by the Constitution (Fortieth Amendment) Bill, 1975, as passed by the two Houses of parliament, and the short title of which has been changed into "The Constitution (Thirty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1975.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved.
Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this connection I would like to seek some clarification. Of course this does not mean that i oppose this motion. This is only for clarification. Sir, the resolution says that the amendment falls within the purview of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 368 whereby according to this proviso, I mean, provision has been made that ratification according to this proviso, I mean, provision has been made that ratification is necessary to be made by the State Legislatures. Now I would like to refer to the proviso to Article 368 that "Provided that such amendment seeks to make any change in (a) Article 54, Article 55, Article 73, Article 162 or Article 241 or (b) Chapter IV of Part V, Charter V of Part VI, Chapter I of Part XI or (c) any of the Lists in the Seventh Schedule or (d) the representation of the States in Parliament, which according to me means the allocations of seats or (e) the provisions of this Article, the amendment shall also require to be ratified by the Legislatures of not les than one-half of the State" and so on and so forth. Now this Fortieth Amendment Bill seeks to change Article 71 that means Chapter I of Part V and also Article 329, i.e. Chapter 2 of Part XV and also Article 154, Chapter 1, both do not fall within the purview of this Article 368. Hence it does not require the State Legislatures for ratification. Thirdly, Sir, we find here that this Amendment seeks to change the 9th Schedule and not the 7th Schedule, as Stated here in the proviso to Article 368. So, why should the legislature encroach upon the powers of the Parliament or why should they be involved? As such Sir, I would like to get some clarification as to why this Bill is necessary fro the State Legislatures to ratify. According to my humble understanding it does not coincide rather it is ultra-virus of the provisions of this particular proviso of the Constitution. According to me it entirely falls within the purview of the Parliament........
Mr. Speaker :- I understand your point. But I think it would be better for me to allay your doubts. I shall read out the message from the Secretary General, Rajya, addressed to the Secretary Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. Subject - The Constitution (Fortieth Amendment) Bill, 1975-ratification of.
I am directed to State that the Constitution (Fortieth Amendment) Bill, 1975 has been passed by the House of the People on the 7th August, 1975 and by the Council of States on the 8th August, 1975. A copy each of the Bill, as introduced in the House of the People and of the Bill, as passed by the Houses of Parliament, is sent here with,
2. As some of the amendments which the Bill seeks to make in the Constitution will have the effect of ousting the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, the amendments may be regarded as making changes in the entrenched provisions specified in clause (b) of the proviso to Article 368 (2) of the Constitution, namely, Chapter IV of Part V and Chapter V of Part VI. Hence the amendment will require to be ratified by the Legislatures of not less than one-half of the States by resolutions to that effect passed by those Legislatures before the Bill is presented to the President for his assent.
3. I am accordingly to request that a resolution ratifying the amendments may be placed before the State Legislative Assembly, as early as practicable, and the result communicated to this Secretariat in due course.
Shri H. Hadem :- But Mr. Speaker, Sir, the proviso of Act.368 is very clear and simple. No proviso had been there in that the proviso be also read by implication. Anyhow Sir, may I again submit that even if we take it to that extent and because it deals with the powers of the Supreme Court and the High Courts - our Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business also debar this House from discussion of this resolution. There we find, Sir, in Sub-rules (d) and (g) of the proviso to Rule 117 which says that, "Subject to the restrictions contained in these rules, a resolution may be moved on a matter of general public interest:
Provided that no resolution shall be admissible which does not comply with the following conditions; namely :-
(d) it shall not relate to any matter which is under adjudication by a Court of law having jurisdiction in any part of India;
(g) it shall not refer to a matter which is not primarily the concern of the State Government;"
and, further, Sir, I would request you patience with me (Laughter)
Also, Sir, Rule120 says: "No resolution which seeks to raise discussion on a matter pending before any statutory authority performing any judicial or quasi-judicial functions or any commission or court of enquiry appointed to enquire into, or investigate, any matter ordinarily be permitted to be moved:
Provided that the Speaker, may, in his discretion, allow such matters being raised in the House as is concerned with the procedure or subject or stage of enquiry, if the Speaker is satisfied that is not likely to prejudice the consideration of such matter by the statutory tribunal, statutory authority, commission or court of enquiry. In this Bill, Sir, according to its statement of objects and reasons on lines 13 and 14, para 2, the object was clearly revealed in these words :-
"It is further proposed to render pending proceedings in respect of such election under the existing law null and void." In the circumstances, Sir, according to my humble understanding it seems that if sub- rule (4) of Rule 115 of our Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business needed suspension - the other two sub-rules of proviso to Rule 117 and as well as Rule 120 with its proviso are also liable to be suspended at this time before we take un this matter.
Mr. Speaker :- The hon. member has raised three important matters and I will, first of all, deal with Rule 117. Rule 117 lays down the conditions of admissibility of a resolution moved by any member inside the House or by the Government on any matter involving general public interest. But here is a resolution moved by the Minister for Parliament Affairs which does not come within the purview of Rule 117; it comes directly under the purview of Article 368 of the Constitution. Secondly, the hon. Member has his doubts as to whether this particular amendment needs the ratification of the State Legislatures or not. Any amendment to the Constitution which affects Chapter IV of Part V and Chapter V of part VI, needs the ratification of the State Legislature. Here is an amendment which touches these two very important parts of the Constitution. Lastly, the hon. Members seems to apprehend that the resolution seeks perhaps, interfere with an institution, court, tribunal or any commission holding quasi-judicial functions. But in the Statement of Objects and Reasons there is no mention of such matters. It is an amendment to the Constitution and the purpose for which the amendments have been sought for is laid down in the Statement of Objects and Reasons. I am constrained to rule the point referred to by him as out of order.
Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I did not raise a point of order. I seek only a clarification.
Mr. Speaker :- But, eventually it came to be a point of order. Now, before we proceed any further, let me request the Minister-in-charge of Law to further enlighten the House on the object of the amendments.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister-incharge of Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the objects and reasons as specifically stated in the Bill by the Union law Minister, perhaps it may not be very much necessary that I have any further say but, in support of what I propose that this House ratifies this Amendment Bill, I would like to say a few words. The whole object is clear that these four offices of great responsibility in the country should not be subjected to the vagaries of law. Well, Sir.....
Mr. Speaker :- Which law?
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister-incharge of Law) :- Vagaries of the law courts (laughter)
Sir, law is not an exact science; it is an art and subject to the vagaries of personalities, whims, prejudice and circumstances. All the hon. Members have the experience and knowledge of such vagaries in various cases right from the village courts to the Syiems' Courts in this District and then to the District Council Courts, the High Court and the Supreme Court. We have seen the ups and downs of the cases and different men have different minds and in some courts we have dissenting judgments on the same case before the courts. Therefore the Parliament has considered the circumstances and has, therefore, brought forward an amendment with this end in view-that these offices of great responsibility in the whole country have intermingling responsibilities within the country and also extending beyond the country. These positions affect the good and bad of the country and also affect the dignity and prestige of the country outside. Therefore, it will not be safe to subject these offices to the vagaries of the law courts.
Sir, I may quote one story which is very current in our court circles. One person was adjudged impotent by a court in a divorce suit. At the same time in another court he was fixed the responsibility for the paternity of a certain child. These are certain vagaries of Law courts and therefore as responsible citizens, responsible legislators and responsible leaders of the people it is right and proper that we should remove these offices from the vagaries of the law courts. Then Sir, at the same time Parliament with a sense o responsibility and also with respect to democracy in the country has provided that these offices shall not be completely outside the scrutiny of somebody or of some forum and for this reason it has decided to bring a law to constitute a forum or a body to look separately into these offices ad proposed that this body will be drawn up from the various responsible personalities and various responsible institution of the country. The Union Law Minister has assured that in making this law, the parties in the country will be consulted. And then, Sir, so far as the amendment to the the Schedule to the Constitution is concerned, that is done for the purpose of protecting certain laws passed by Parliament including the amendment to the representation of People Act, Maintenance of Internal Security Act from the purview of the courts. This is done on the same line because from the experience during the last few years, it is found that the laws passed by Parliament are subjected to the vagaries of the law courts with the result that the intention of the legislature which is sovereign, is thwarted. Sir, we have inherited a system from British judiciary and British democracy and perhaps in the last 75 years we might have some experiences that a strict adherence to the ideas of the judiciary are not applicable in the country and also not applicable in the country and also not applicable to the whole world. Sir, these ideas were all along before the British, during the British and after the British period that there are three wing of sovereign powers in the country; the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
Sir, the very concept of law is wrong before, but now it is different. In a democracy the people are sovereign and they in practice constitute the Parliament which will convey the expression of their sovereign will. Therefore, Parliament or the Legislature is the sovereign authority. We cannot equate the Legislature with the Judiciary and therefore, Sir, I feel that the executive is the agency to execute the will of the Parliament and Legislature which are sovereign. The Judiciary is to interpret the will of Parliament. Sir, in the last few years we have had experiences of the courts going beyond their jurisdiction and even trying to interpret the will of the people trying to interpret the sovereign will of Parliament. Therefore, it is has come become necessary to remove or detach the will of Parliament from scrutiny of the courts of law due to the unpleasant experiences during the last few years. Sir, unless the country evolves a new system in our country, evolves a new sense of value and a new sense of responsibility in the country, it seems that the sovereign power of the legislature in the country should have to remove this anomaly and frame legislation for the benefit of the country and at the same time be free from the scrutiny of the courts of law. So, Sir, I submit that this House ratifies this Amendment to the Constitution with the object o achieving good to the country as a whole.
Mr. Speaker :- Now I will put the question before the House. The question is that this House ratifies the Amendment to the Constitution of India falling within the purview of the proviso to Clause (2) of Article 368 thereof, proposed to be made by the Constitution (Fortieth Amendment) Bill, 1975, as passed by the two Houses of Parliament, and the short title of which has been changed into "The Constitution (Thirty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1975". (The motion as carried and the Amendment was ratified).
Let us pass on to item No.4. The Chief Minister to initiate obituary references.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister):-Mr. Speaker, Sir, with your permission I would like to make certain obituary references. The fist is with respect to Mr. N. V. Natarajan.
Mr. N. V. Natarajan, Minister for Backward Classes, Tamilnadu, passed away on the 3rd August, 1975 at the age of 63.
Born on June 12, 1912, Mr. N. V. Natarajan was an active member of the Congress Party but resign his membership in 1938 and joined the Justice Party from 1938 upto 1946. He was a founder member of the Dravida Munetra Kazhagam (DMK) from 1949 and its Organisation Secretary since 1960.
Mr. N.V. Natarajan was a member of the Tamilnadu Legislative Council since April 21, 1964 and formerly Government whip of the said Council. Later on from August 1969 to March 1971, he was Minister for labour and Backward Classes, from 15th March, 1971 to 1st July 1973, Minister for Labour, and since 2nd July 1973, Minister for Labour, and since 2 July 973, Minister for Backward Classes.
In his death, the State and the country as a whole had lost a patriot and a social worker devoted to the cause of the people.
Mr. Bagirathi Mahapatra, a former Member of Rajya Sabha passed away on the 3rd August, 1975. He was 84 years old. In the death of Mr Mr. B. Mahapatra the country lost a grand old man.
The third person I would like to make a referenced is Mr. Amar Bose.
Mr. Amar Bose, a veteran freedom fighter passed away on the 3rd August, 975 at the age of 85.
Born in 1891, Mr. Bose was initiated in politics at a tender age. During the Swedish movement, Mr. Bose courted imprisonment at the age of 12 . He spent 14 years behind prison bars including a brief spell in the post-Independence period.
Mr. Bose elected to the West Bengal Legislative Assembly for three terms beginning from 1952, Later, he withdraw from active politics because of ill health.
Although he started his politics career as an active member of the then "Jugantar - Dal", he was one of those who were responsible for organising the Congress in North Calcutta in 1922-23. Later he became a close associate of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and together with Netaji founded the Forward Block.
In 1954, Mr. Bose in co-operation with the late Satyapriya Banerjee, founded the Forward block. (Marxist).
In the death the country had loss a veteran freedom fighter and great leader.
Mr. Speaker :- Any other hon. Member?
*Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also join hands with the Leader of the House in paying homage to the departed souls. I also feel that their passing away is a great loss to our country. they were persons who had served for the cause of the people and they were also trying to develop our country as a whole. They were great social workers and in their passing away we feel really that it has been a great loss to our country.
Mr. Speaker :- I would also like to associate myself with the sentiments expressed by the Leader of the House and the hon. Members on the passing away of the three outstanding personalities - Mr. N. V. Natarajan, Minister for Backward Classes of Tamilnadu, Mr. Bagirathi Mahapatra, a former member of Rajya Sabha and Mr. Amar Bose, a veteran freedom fighter.
Indeed, much has already been said of these great personalities and I find there is very little room for me to add to what has already been said in this august House. Sad though their demise, the greater is the loss for the country and it would take a long time before we recover from this shock. Though they are no more, we should look up to their achievements and draw inspiration from their deeds.
May God grant them eternal rest and peace and also strength and fortitude to the members of the braved families to bear the loss. Now I request the hon. Members to rise in their scats and offer our silent prayers by observing two minutes' silence as a mark of respect to the departed souls.
(The House observed two minutes' silence)
ADJOURNMENT SINE DIE
Since there is no other business for the day, the House stands adjourned sine die.
|R. T. RYMBAI,|
|The 9th August, 1975||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|