Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the 7th September, 1976 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong, with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.
Present :- Minister Eight, Minister of State Three, Members Thirty-nine.
REPORT OF THE BUSINESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up item No.1 i.e., the report of the Business Advisory Committee.
In pursuance of Rule 230 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I am to report that a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee was called on the 28th August, 1976 to settle the business for the current session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. A draft Calendar for the September Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly was proposed by my Secretariat and circulated to the hon. Members present in the Committee with a statement of business received from various Departments of the Government. The Committee then considered the draft Calendar and approved the same with slight modification. A copy of the Calendar for the meetings as finalised by the Committee has already been circulated to the hon. Members.
It may particularly be mentioned that the opening day of the present Session is Tuesday, which under the rules, is a private Member's Day. I was considered proper to introduce the main business for the current Session on the day and adjourn after the obituary references instead of devoting the whole day for transaction of Private Members' Business.
It was the consensus of the Members of the Committee that Private Members' Business which otherwise could have been taken up on this day be taken up on the next day, i.e., on Wednesday, the 8th September after disposal of certain Government items which are of a very formal nature.
Likewise, the business listed for Friday, the 10th September and Saturday, the 11th September have been inter-changed because of the fact that voting on Demands for Excess Grants cannot take place on a day earlier than the 11th September in the event of a Member tabling cut motion to the Grants which, under the rules, require 2 clear days' notice. This requirement is met only when this item of business is taken up on the 11th at the earliest. I hope this has the approval of the House.
Let us pass on to item No.2.
In pursuance of sub-rule (1) of Rule 9 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I hereby nominate the following hon. Members to the Panel of Chairmen for the purpose of conducting the September Session, 1976 -
1. Mr. H. Hadem, M.L.A.
2. Mr. S.D. Khongwir, M.L.A.
3. Mr. D.D. Lapang, M.L.A.
4. Mr. P.N. Choudhury, M.L.A.
COMPLAINT OF BREACH OF PRIVILEGE
Now before taking up item No.3 I would like to inform the House that I have received a complaint of breach of privilege against Mr. V. Ramakrishna, Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Home and Political Department, by Prof. M.N. Majaw, M.L.A. The complaint reads like this :-
Under the provisions of Rules 158, 159, 160 and 161 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the House, I intend with the consent of the Hon'ble Speaker, to move the following privilege motion against Mr. V. Ramakrishnan, Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya Home and Political Departments, for a grossly defamatory and objectionable statement made against me by him in his letter of the 19th August, 1976, No.POL.357/76/46, to the Hon'ble Speaker, under the provisions of Rule 178 of the Rules of Procedure -
"I beg to move a motion of a breach of privilege, under the provisions of Rules 158, 159 and 160 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the House, against Mr. V. Ramakrishnan, Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Home and Political Department, for -
(a) making a grossly defamatory statement against me in his letter to the Hon'ble Speaker, No.POL.357/76/46, dated the 19th of August, 1976 thereby lowering me in the eyes of m colleagues and consequently hindering and obstructing me in the faithful discharge of my duties in the House;
(b) making such a statement giving sounds for my detention in direct violation of the law in force in India today, as laid down in Section 16(a) of the Maintenance of Internal Security Act, 1971 (as amended); and for
(c) attempting to lower the dignity and honour of this august House by exploiting the services of the Assembly Secretariat to circulate a grossly defamatory statement against me through the provisions of Rules 178 and 179 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the House".
In accordance with the provisions of Rules 159, I am enclosing herewith a copy of the document referred to above.
I humbly submit that the matter which I propose to raise is very serious and a definite breach of privilege, and do hope the Hon'ble Speaker will grant me permission to move the same today.
Sd/- M.N. MAJAW, M.L.A.
Now, I will read out a copy of the letter attached to this complaint of the hon. Member. It is from Shri V. Ramakrishnan, Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya addressed to the Speaker, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shillong.
I have the honour to inform you that Shri Martin Narayan Majaw, M.L.A., who was detained under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act, 1971 on 18th September, 1975 for activities prejudicial to the maintenance of public order, was released on parole today (19th August, 1976) on compassionate grounds.
Sd/- V. RAMAKRISHNAN,
Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya."
In this connection, I would like to say that the hon. Member seems to have misunderstood the contents of the question of privilege. In so far as the question is concerned, I would like to make a remark that (i) the so-called Secretary of the Government of Meghalaya did not utilise the services of the Assembly Secretariat for circulating the letter to the hon. Members. But according to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the House it it my duty to inform all the hon. Members when the House is not sitting that the hon. Member, Prof. M.N. Majaw, is released on parole, (ii) if we look into the contents of this complaint we will find that it is a question of privilege of this House; it is a question whether the Civil rights of the hon. Member have been curtailed or not and hence if the hon. Member feels aggrieved he can go to the court of law to settle the issued and (iii) Shri V. Ramakrishnan did not sign this order in his personal capacity but he signed it as Secretary to the Government to Communicate the order of the Government. Lastly, the hon. Member was released on parole which technically speaking means the case against him is still pending and we cannot take up such a case which may be considered as subjudice.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- May I intervene, Sir?
Mr. Speaker :- I do not allow you to move. If I am not satisfied that the ...
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- My objection is that in his letter he has mentioned the ground i.e. activities prejudicial to the maintenance of public order which he cannot; he has passed a judgement on me.
Mr. Speaker :- In fact, it is not within the purview of this House. It is still subjudice. In my case it is not a case to be decided by this House; it is not a question of breach of privilege of this House. Therefore, I rule out this complaint. Let us pass on to item No.3.
PRESENTATION OF DEMANDS FOR EXCESS GRANTS AND EXCESS APPROPRIATION FOR 1970-71.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to present the Demands for Excess Grants and Excess Appropriation relating to the financial year 1970-71.
Mr. Speaker :- item No.4.
PRESENTATION OF SUPPLEMENTARY DEMANDS FOR GRANTS FOR 1976-77.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- I beg to present the Supplementary Demands for Grants and Supplementary Appropriation for 1976-77.
Mr. Speaker :- Item No.5.
LAYING OF ORDINANCES AND REPORTS
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister, Forest) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Meghalaya Tree (Preservation) Ordinance, 1976.
Mr. Speaker :- Item No.6.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Mining and Geology) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Annual Report of the Assam and Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation Ltd., for the year 1974-75.
Mr. Speaker :- Item No.7.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Annual Report (1974-75) of the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation Ltd.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to item No.8. The Chief Minister to initiate the obituary references.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, Shri Niranjan Singh Talib, Punjab Pradesh Congress President, a freedom fighter and a member of the Rajya Sabha, passed away on the 28th May, 1976 at the age of 75.
Born in 1901 at Mambha in Patiala District of Punjab, Shri Talib did his schooling from the State High School of Nabha and letter joined the Khalsa College at Amritsar. In 1921 he left the college and joined the non-cooperation movement.
Since he was not allowed to enter his native State for his anti-British activities while serving as Private Secretary to the then Maharaja of Nabha Shri Talib came down to Calcutta and in 1930 started a Punjabi daily 'Desh Darpan', which continued till the end of the 2nd World War. During this period he was convicted many times for what the British termed "his seditious writings".
At Calcutta, Shri Talib came in contact with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and, following the latter's disappearance from Calcutta, was arrested and brought to Lahore fort for trial. Later he was detained for 5 years on the charge of aiding and abetting the disappearance of Netaji.
After nearly 23 years in exile from his native State from 1923, he re-entered Punjab politics and became a legislator in 1956.
Shri Talib served the Punjab Government as a Minister for several years before taking up the post of the President of the Punjab P.C.C. in 1972.
Shri Talib was elected to the Rajya Sabha last year from the Punjab Vidhan Labha.
In his death, the country had lost an eminent patriot and an able organiser.
Shri Paramananda Gogoi, Revenue Minister of Assam, passed away on the 10th June 1976 at the age of 57.
Born on 10th December, 1919, at Balijan village near Tinsukia, Shri Gogoi took active part in the freedom movement and was imprisoned several times.
In 1946 he was elected as a member of the A.P.C.C. In 1948, he left the Congress and joined the Socialist part and was one of founder members of the Socialist Party. In 1956, he left the Socialist Party and again joined the Congress Party, and became a member of the Executive Committee, A.P.C.C. from 1964 to 1967.
Shri Gogoi was elected to the Assam Legislative Assembly in 1967 and joined the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Cabinet in 1970. In 1972, he was appointed as Minister for Revenue, Social Welfare, Sericulture and Weaving and Forests.
In his death, the country, particularly the State of Assam had lost a freedom fighter, and an able and efficient administrator, and a social worker.
Shri K.T. Jacob, former Revenue Minister of Kerala and one of the top leaders of the Communist Party, passed away on the 14th June 1976.
Shri Jacob, who was one of the pillars of the State Congress in erstwhile Travancore, joined the Communist party in 1941. He underwent imprisonment from 1944 to 1947 and again during 1948 to 1952 after a ban was imposed on the party.
A labour leader who organised many unions of agricultural labour, Shri Jacob served as a Minister for Revenue in the Achuta Menon Cabinet in 1969.
In his death, the country had lost an eminent legislator and enable organiser.
Shri Chandrashekhar Singh a deputy leader of the C.P.I. group in the State Legislature of Bihar and a Member of the National Council of CPI, and its Bihar State Secretariat, passed away on the 20th July, 1976 at the age of 61.
Born in December 1915, Shri Chandrashekhar Singh, graduated from Benaras Hindu University in 1937, and obtained his Master's Degree from Patna University in 1939.
Shri Chandrashekhar Singh came to politics through the National Liberation movement against the British imperialism in 1934. At that time he was in the Congress Socialist party. He was elected first General Secretary of the Bihar Students Federation in 1938. In 1940 he joined the CPI and was arrested by the British Government.
In 1949 he was arrested in connection with All India Railway strike. He worked in the Kisan Sabha from 1949 to 1956.
In 1956 by-election, he was elected on a Communist ticket to the Bihar Legislative Assembly. He was continuously a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly since 1962.
In 1967 he became Minister for Power and Irrigation in the SVD, Government.
He was currently Deputy leader of the CPI, Legislative Party.
In his death, the country had lost an eminent administrator and a statesman.
Shri Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a veteran Congress leader of Haryana passed away on the 16th June 1976 at the age of 90.
Shri Abdul Ghaffar Khan was a former Minister of Haryana and Vice-President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. In his death the country had lost an eminent leader.
Shri T. Rajasekhara Reddy, a sitting member of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, elected from the Alampur Constituency in Mahabubnagar District, passed away on the 26th July 1976 following a heart attack in his death the country had loss an eminent leader.
Shri Ghanshyam Singh Gupta, a former Speaker of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, passed away on the 14th June, 1976 at age of 90. In his death, the country had lost a prominent leader.
Shri Golam Mohiuddin, a Member of the West Bengal State Assembly passed away on the 26th August, 1976 at the age of 72. In his death, the country had lost an eminent leader.
Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I join with the leader of the House in paying homage to these noble sons of India who had passed away. Many of them were fighters for the liberation of our country from foreign rule. After Independence, with the same spirit of sacrifice, they had continued to serve for the peace and progress of our country. Sir, in their passing away, we feel that we have lost eminent leaders of our country who had done so much for the progress of our mother land.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wonder if hon. Members can make an obituary reference to death of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?
Mr. Speaker :- Yes, you can make a reference to him as well as to a number of eminent leaders.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- But I think it is up to this House to decide on this.
Mr. Speaker :- In fact, the tradition of this House is that we usually pay respect mostly to those people who had spent their lives as parliamentarians or legislators and if we should include each and every eminent person, I think, that would be very difficult.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- But the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was quite an eminent person.
Mr. Speaker :- There is nobody who can deny his greatness but it is very difficult to pay our homage to each and every eminent person, in his own capacity. As I said earlier, we have created this tradition here that we must confine ourselves only to those leaders who had spent their lives in that particular field.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to associate myself with and share the sentiments and feelings expressed by the Leader of the House on the passing away of those great leaders of India.
Shri Speaker :- I would also like to associate myself with the sentiments expressed by the Leader of the House and other hon. Members on the passing away of the eight outstanding Indian personalities - Shri Nironjan Singh Talib, Punjab Pradesh Congress President; Shri Paramananda Gogoi, Revenue Minister of Assam; Shri K.T. Jacob, Former Revenue Minister of Kerala and one of the top leaders of the Communist Party; Shri Chandreshaker Singh, a Deputy Leader of the CPI group in the State Legislature and member of National Council of CPI of Bihar State Legislature; Shri Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a veteran Congress Leader of Haryana; Shri T. Rajasekhara Reddy, a sitting member of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly; Shri Ghanashyam Singh Gupta, former Speaker of Madhya Pradesh Assembly and Shri Gomal Mohiuddin, a member of the West Bengal State Assembly. These were great Indian personalities and the country as a whole is poorer by their demise.
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 and it would be a long time before we recover from this stroke of misfortune. Though they are no more, we should look into their achievements and draw inspiration from their needs.
We gather here today to pay them Homage and pray for the eternal rest of their souls. May God grant strength and fortitude to the members of the bereaved families. We shall now stand on our feet and observe one minute's silence as a mark of respect to them.
(The House observed one minute's silence)
The House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M. tomorrow, the 8th September, 1976.
The 7th September, 1976.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.