Proceedings of the Winter Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held on Friday, the 17th December 1976 with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.

Present : Ministers - 6, Ministers of State - 5, Members - 46.
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Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up Unstarred Question No.2

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(Replies to which were placed on the table)

Mawsynram P.W.D. Division.

Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked :

2. Will the Minister-in-charge, P.W.D. be pleased to state -

(a) Why the offices of the Mawsynram P.W.D. Division have not been shifted from Shillong to Mawsynram?
(b) When will the office buildings of Mawsynram P.W.D. Division at Mawsynram be completed?
(c) What are the reasons for the delay in completion of the remaining office buildings ?

Shri W.A. Sangma ( Chief Minister in-charge of P.W.D. (R. and B) replied :

2.(a) - Due to non-completion of the remaining buildings of the office and staff quarters, the office would not be shifted to Mawsynram.
(b) - It is expected that the remaining buildings will be completed by the end of 1977.
(c) - Due to paucity of funds, the construction of the remaining office buildings would not be taken up so long.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are some printing mistakes in reply to question on (a) and (c). In reply to question on (a) instead of "the office would not be ........................" it should be "................ the office could not be ...................." so also against (c) instead of "................. office buildings would not be taken up .................... it should be "...................... office buildings could not be taken up so long."

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Whether the work has been started?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  Yes.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- Maw we know since when the work was started?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Some buildings have been completed and some others are being constructed.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Maw we know how many buildings have been allotted for Mawsynram Division?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Estimates for construction of regional staff buildings at Mawsynram was sanctioned on 19th June 1976 amount up to Rs.8,38,000.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in reply to (c) if has been stated that due to paucity of funds, the construction of the remaining office buildings could not be taken up so long. I would like to know, in the meantime, whether fund will be made available until March 1977 or no fund will be available before next Budget Session?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I have already said that estimate for construction of buildings at Mawsynram was sanctioned on 19th June 1976 amounting to Rs.8,38,000.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy :- If it was sanctioned in the month of June, I do not understand why it has been mentioned "there is a paucity of fund".

Shri H. Hadem :- It seems, Sir, come arguments are going on.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy :- I am not arguing; I am only seeking some clarification.

Mr. Speaker :- The question is how can the Chief Minister reconcile the Statement of paucity of fund which was already sanctioned in the month of June. 

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this relates to the buildings for the staff some of which, as I said before, were started much earlier. Therefore, all these buildings could nto be taken up at was time till the fund is made available.

Shri S.P. Swer :- I has been stated that there is paucity of fund. Then may we know the total amount estimated for the construction?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I have already stated. The estimate for the construction of remaining buildings for the Divisional Office and Staff quarters at Mawsynram has been sanctioned on 19th June 1976 amounting to Rs.8,33,000. Tender was called after observing necessary formalities (comprising as detailed below).

1. Group I Divisional Accountant Qr. One unit Allotted.
2. Group II Divisional Head Asst. Qr. One unit  Allotted.
3. Group III Sub Divisional Head Asst One unit. Offered to the Contractor at 25 percent above schedule of rates. 
4. Group IV Asstt. Engineer's Qr. One unit

Do.

5. Group V

Do.

Allotted.
6. Group VI Sectional Office Qr. One unit Offered to the Contractor at 25 per cent above schedule of rates.
7. Group VII Do. Do.
8. Group VIII Do. Do.
9. Group IX Junior Divisional Acctt. One unit Do.
10. Group X

Do.

Do.
11. Group XI Asstt. Divisional Asstt. Qr. Do.
12. Group XIII Lower Divisional Asstt. Qr. Offered to the Contractor at 25 per cent above schedule of rates.
13. Group XIII  Do. Do.
14. Group XIV Do. Do.
15. Group XV Do. Do.
16. Group XV Tracers' qrs. 3 Units Allotted.
17. Group XVII IV Grade Staff

6 Units.

Do.

        The work of Group 1, 2, 5, 11, 16 and 17 were allotted to the Contractors as the rated quoted by them were found to be reasonable. The work of the remaining groups were offered to the contractors of 25 per cent above the scheduled of rates as their quoted rates were very high. They have been reminded to convey their willingness for accepting the offer to sign the formal tender. Effort is being made to finalise the allotment of works and to commerce the work early.


Notice of No. Confidence Motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Before passing to item No.2 I would inform the House that there are two other items which have come up just now and deserve preference over item No.2. The first new item is the notice that I have received from Shri B.B. Lyngdoh and Shri H.S. Lyngdoh. The contents of the notice are like this :-

To

The Secretary,
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly,
Shillong.

Sir,

        We the undersigned members of the Assembly hereby give notice under Rule 133 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly of our intention to move the following motion :-

        "That this House expresses want of confidence in the present Ministry headed by Mr. W.A. Sangma."

Yours faithfully,

Dated Shillong : Sd/- B.B. LYNGDOH
The 16th November, 1976 Sd/- H.S. LYNGDOH

Mr. Speaker :- Now those who will support the motion may rise in their seats.

(The hon. Members stood up)

        The number of members who rose is fifteen, so leave is granted. But the difficulty for me is to fix the date because tomorrow is the lat date of the sitting of the assembly. Of course tomorrow is the last one business and I think there is no cut motion also.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- To discuss the matter I would request the Hon'ble Speaker to extend the House by another 2 days.

Mr. Speaker :- It depends upon the House.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I oppose this request and I maintain the House cannot be extended.

Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think we have got ample time tomorrow to discuss. According to rules it is very clearly stated that within 24 hours it can be fixed. So we can finish the business tomorrow.

Mr. Speaker :- Since it is a motion I think I should seek the formal leave of the House. Therefore I put the question before the House that the House to be extended by another 2 days.

(The motion was lost by voice vote)

        So, the motion will be taken up tomorrow at 9.40 A.M. as soon a the business is completed or whichever is later.

        The other business which comes up before the House today is the request made by 13 M.L.As to be recognised as the Official Opposition Party. May I read the letter.

"To

The Speaker,
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly,
Shillong.

Sir,

        We the under signed Members, of the A.P.H.L.C. Parliamentary Party in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, beg to inform you that the Party has at present 13 Members and is entitled to be recognised as an Official Opposition Party in the House. We would, therefore, request you to give us the recognition and the facilities for the proper functioning of our Party in the business of the House. We would like also to inform you that Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh, M.L.A., and Mr. G. Mylliemngap. M.L.A. have been elected "Leader" and "Whip" respectively of our Parliamentary Party.

Yours faithfully,

Dated Shillong : Sd/- B.B. Lyngdoh, M.L.A.
The 16th December, 1976 Sd/- S.D. Nichols Roy, M.L.A. 
Sd/- S.P. Swer, M.L.A.
Sd/- G. Laloo, M.L.A.
Sd/- J.C. Marak, M.L.A.
Sd/- P.R. Kyndiah, M.L.A.
Sd/- G. Mylliemngap, M.L.A.
Sd/- B. Kharkongor, M.L.A.
Sd/- Jormanick Syiem, M.L.A.
Sd/- H. Nongrum, M.L.A.
Sd/- D.D. Pugh, M.L.A
Sd/- K.M. Roy Marbaniang, M.L.A.
Sd/- A. Warjri M.L.A.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I say a word? Sir, while I congratulate that Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh, M.L.A. has been elected Leader of the Opposition Party by the 13 Members, I strongly protest and object that he may be called leader of the A.P.H.L.C. Group of the Legislature. (Voice - shame, shame) Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party previously and I received information from the President and also from the Joint Secretary of the erstwhile A.P.H.L.C. the Party had been dissolved. The information conveyed to me was that this decision had been taken by the highest body of the Party, that  is, the A.P.H.L.C. in its Conference at Mendipathar and that the Party had decided to merge itself with the Congress Party. Accordingly, the majority of the Members of the A.P.H.L.C. who are Members of this House have also joined the Congress Legislature Party. Mr. Speaker, Sir, so in view of the information conveyed to me, the A.P.H.L.C. Party is no longer in existence as the Party has already merged itself with the Congress Party. I would submit, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this Party cannot be termed as the A.P.H.L.C. Parliamentary Party by this august House because recognition of the Party lies with another body which is a quasi-judicial body, that is the Election Commission. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if any decision is taken by you that this Party is recognised as the A.P.H.L.C. Parliamentary Party, then it will have far reaching consequences and it amounts to a judicial pronouncement which should have been done by a separate body which is a quasi-judicial body, that is the Election  Commission. In view, therefore of the information received by me that the A.P.H.L.C. Party have been dissolved and has merged itself with the Congress Parliamentary Party and this fact having been conveyed to me by the President as well as the Joint Secretary of the Party itself, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I object and oppose that they should be called as the A.P.H.L.C. Parliamentary Party.

Mr. Speaker :- In other words, you are objecting only to the name.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Parliamentary Affairs) :- I object to the name, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- May I know from the Minister in charge of Parliamentary Affairs whether you have any notification with you to prove that the A.P.H.L.C. Party has been dissolved ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have got here the announcement by the President.......

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- I think that it is not the notification. It is a political pronouncement.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Of course, it is not to notified in the gazette, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- This is a very very important matter which I think and I expected that the House will consider calmly and coolly because both sides of the House must present to me a clear picture as recognition of any group inside the House is entirely my responsibility. But I will not be responsible if I get a wrong information from any Party. That is why I request both sides of the House to give me a clear picture of what was actually happening. 

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I would like to give a correct picture. Having been authorised by the 27th Conference of the A.P.H.L.C. at Mendipathar after it had been decided to merge with the  Congress Party, it was decided that, as a consequence, the party should stand dissolved. Now, this matter has been communicated to the Election Commission because this was a recognised Party by the Election Commission. Therefore, it was only obligation to communicate this decision to the Election Commission and this was duly communicated. But it appears from a copy of the letter I received from the Election Commission that there was counter representation to the Election Commission. That representation was sent by Mr. D.D. Pugh, erstwhile General Secretary, A.P.H.L.C. on the 30th November. Therefore, this decision of the Mendipathar Conference was communicated by the then Joint Secretary, Mr. Nongtdu, to the Election Commission., It was dated 28th November. In the meantime, another letter of counter claim was sent by Mr. D.D. Pugh and because of this, the Election Commission had made a reference to the then Joint Secretary of the A.P.H.L.C. with a copy to me.

Mr. Speaker :- Is it a communication from the Election Commission?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Let me read the letter. This letter was addressed to Mr. O. Nongtdu.

        "With reference to your letter, dated 28th November 1976, on the subject cited, I am directed to forward herewith a copy of the letter, dated 30th November, 1976, received from Shri D.D. Pugh, General Secretary, A.P.H.L.C. and to request you to forward your comments thereon to the Commission before 31st December 1976 so as to enable the Commission to take further necessary action in the matter."

        Therefore, as correctly pointed out by my colleague, the Law Minister, I beg to submit that this matter is subjudice. So we cannot make claim and counter claim here.

Mr. Speaker :- One thing which is clear to me is that the Selection Commission has not made a decision and the matter is still being considered by it. That is the information I learn

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is no use that somebody who has not use of anything to still cling to it like a dog in the manger .............

Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State) :- The word dog is un-parliamentary, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- 'Dog is the manger' is a phrase.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Yes, Sir, 'dog in the manger policy is a phrase. There was a story of a dog who was lying under the hay and when the cow came to eat the hay, the dog barked and bit the cow. So the story of the dog in the manger. Therefore Sir, I could not understand if the defectors would still claim as the A.P.H.L.C. and would object to the name of the A.P.H.L.C. claimed by us.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I would not accept that are defectors.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- You are defectors.................

Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State for Education) :- You never attended the Conference ...............

Mr. Speaker :- Order, Order, Order. I want to know the facts here and the question which has been raised here deals with legal matters and I am not the least concerned with political issues which are involved.

Shri O.L. Nongtdu :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the word defector is being used and it is un-parliamentary.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Sir, if they can prove from the list of un-parliamentary words circulated, if they can show that it is within the list of unparliamentary language, because the word defector is a very common word.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- The question of defector relates to politics, therefore, I am not concerned with political issues. This relates to political issues.

Mr. Speaker :- The question is that from this side of the House they claim that the A.P.H.L.C. has been dissolved and the claim of the other side is that the A.P.H.L.C. is a living body and to describe who is a defector is in the political platform and not in this House.

Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State for Education) :- May I request, Sir, that the word defector may be expunged.

Mr. Speaker :- I am yet to consider. If I find that the word is unparliamentary I will expunge.

Shri H. Hynniewta :- I do not think the word defector is un-parliamentary. It is a question of fact whether the friends from the other side are defectors or the friends from this side are defectors and the matter has to be brought to the Election Commission for a decision. Sir, you sit here in a judicial capacity and what you are concerned is the question as to whether this group which calls itself the A.P.H.L.C. Opposition will be recognised as an official Opposition in this House. On this matter you will have to apply your judicial mind.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- I declare and I repeat, Sir, that we have every right, as the hon. Member from Nongkhlaw has said, to be recognised as an official Opposition.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- I do not say that you have the sole right. This is a question to be decided by you, Sir.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- I say, Mr. Speaker, Sir, from all norms, from all standards, we have every right to be recognised as an official Opposition because, according to rules, Sir, if a group or party inside the House constitutes more than one tenth of the entire strength of the House, then it is entitled to be recognised as an opposition Party. We have 13, three more than the required minimum. Therefore, no one can stand  before you and object to the recognition of our Party as an official Opposition Party, Sir. Now about the name. What right have they got to object. We have got many Williamsons in the State What is there in that name?

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would request you to consider whether our friends who has just spoken can claim himself to the sole judge whether other people have the right or not to question his group to be an official Opposition, it is you and you alone, Sir, who can have that right and take a decision.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- I have not said that I have the sole right. I declared that I am making a submission before you, Sir, and no one can object whatever I name myself, my group of association. So long, I do not violate the patent right no one can take their name. After choosing another name, yet they want to cling to this ole name. What have I violated by calling myself an A.P.H.L.C. ? This is a very strange claim.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- When the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs was speaking, Sir, we did not interfere.

Shri H. Hadem :- At least I would request the hon. Member to avoid personal charges.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- By example I said.

Mr. Speaker :- The hon. Member should avoid all personal references.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I come to a simple fact that your good-self had recognised the A.P.H.L.C. in 1972, when we were 32 and when we incr3eased to 36, the recognition continued, when we increased to 36 the recognition continued. When we decrease to 13, would you say we have not more right to continue? Unless within the rules we have decreased below 10, then you have every right to de-recognise. You were kind enough to recognise the Congress Group when it has 8 Members as a Party when they returned to this House in 1972, when they are not entitled to be recognised. Therefore, I would say that the defection of certain members or colleagues of this Party going somewhere else, calling by another name would not affect the existence of this group or party in this House so long as we maintain the requisite number for recognition. Therefore, Sir, I beg to submit that this objection is so frivolous and so absurd. I simply fail to understand how it would come from the hon. Member in the Opposition occupying the Minister's chair. (......Interruption.....)

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- But, Sir, he is a Member of the House.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Therefore, Sir, as you have already indicated some kind of objections, some claim by a mere story of something that happens somewhere, they claim that our Party should not be recognised by you. They have to file definition notification and definite documents. Under what provision, under what rule and under what constitution that this Party is no longer in existence or that a group of persons is authorised to dissolve any other Party. Sir, a political organisation is quite different from a business organisation. A group of persons form into a business organisation for the purpose of carrying out business and will continue as long as the business is going on and can dissolve that business only when it is completed. There is definite provision for liquidation when the business is completed or when that business is no longer profitable. Sir, they brought a certain kind of information as stated by the Hon'ble Minister of Parliamentary Affairs that certain in persons an certain group had dissolved certain party.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Parliamentary Affairs) :- I did not say certain persons, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- But he said certain information from certain persons. I think I have not heard incorrectly. The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, the hon. Member from Mawprem , has stated that he was informed by certain persons of a certain action, of certain decision taken. Now, Sir this is the story which remains a story which is not backed up by any provision under the constitution of the A.P.H.L.C. Therefore, Sir, under what provision or under what convention they can dissolve the Party. I would, therefore, now request that your good self would call for the laying down of these convention on the floor of this House under what authority. Shri W.A. Sangma can dissolve the Party consisting of thousands and lakhs of people as members by a mere decision at Mendipathar.

Mr. Speaker :- Now we are entering into an issue which is not for me to decide. There is one piece of information which the Chief Minister has given me that the matter is being examined by the Election Commission. May I know from the other side of the House whether such kind of reference has been made to the Election Commission because that issue is not to be decided by me. My duty is plain and simple. I cannot recognise or derecognise any political Party. But I can only recognised or derecognise Parliamentary Party, but not any political party.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Very rightly, Sir, I give my salute to the Chair. But when a certain story is being brought out inside the House.

(........Interruptions...........)

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- What is this, when the hon. Member is speaking, they cannot even stomach the truth.

Mr. Speaker :- I think each and every Member in this House must have mutual respect for each other.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Therefore, Sir, we are really coming with your guidance to a very clear and simple question to be decided not on the story of Mendipathar, but on rules and facts and the decision as exist inside the House. We know that the A.P.H.L.C. was recognised on 1972 and it is still to be recognised according to the strength. My point is that we continue to be recognised with our requisite number of more than 10 - we are 13 members. Therefore, I am very glad to hear about this story and of the claims by certain persons on certain conventions. But what are these conventions?

Mr. Speaker :- These are to be decided somewhere else.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Therefore, Sir, I cannot understand how a mere convention or resolution outside this House shall prevail in the decision of this House shall prevail in the decision of this question. It shall be within this House. The simple fact is that we, the A.P.H.L.C. Party, consisting of 13 Members were elected on A.P.H.L.C. tickets in 1972 which your goodself has recognised and I hope you will recognise in view of the fact that we fulfill the condition

Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State Education) :- With full adjustment with the Congress Party.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- I would like Mr. Marbaniang to elaborate his statement.

Mr. Speaker :- How can you ask Mr. Marbaniang to speak. I request the hon. Member not to interrupt when one is speaking except on a point of order and I request that clarification can be sought only after the hon. Member has taken his seat.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs had referred to two things - one which your goodself had ruled out about the story of Mendipathar because these question is not to be entered upon in this House.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- On a point of clarification, Sir, may I..............

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Unless it is a point of order, I do not like to be interfered.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- On a point of clarification he is referring to the story of Mendipathar.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- I heard from Mr. Maham Singh.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is a meeting of certain group of people.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- He is making a speech, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- I have already ruled out that political controversies which took place outside the House cannot be entered upon in this House.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- He has made a personal reference to me as Capt. Sangma.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :- On a point of order, I submit that everybody shall have to address the Chair.

Mr. Speaker :- I want to know whether it is a fact that Election Commission is considering this case.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- May I make a statement on that. I submit that the Election Commission has no authority on the Speaker of the House. It has only to deal with one matter about the allotment of symbols to political parties contesting the elections and not recognition of parties. That is the duty of the Speaker alone.

        No one can impose on you good-self Mr. Speaker, Sir, I can point out from Shakdher or from May's Parliamentary Practice and Procedure that no authority can impose on the Speaker to recognise any party. This practice has been followed by the British Parliaments and the Indian Parliament. Only on the convention and rules that your good-self can decide this question. This is my submission. The Election Commission has got nothing to do with recognition either of Opposition Parties or Ruling Party inside the House. The Election Commission has to deal only with the allotment on the question of symbols and we do not need to go further than that. Therefore, as I have stated, that your good-self alone in the final authority in recognising or de-recognising the House within the rules and conventions of the House as laid down by the Parliament and other State Legislature in the country. Now, one part of the story that the learned Minister for Parliamentary Affairs brought, has been closed and I would not repeat it because that matter is not to be brought inside the House. Another story which has got documentary evidence is about the merger episode. He has brought the matter by saying that the A.P.H.L.C. was merged with the Congress. 

Mr. Speaker :- I am not sure whether that is relevant.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- If the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs withdraws the word merger, then I will withdraw.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- The question is whether this is relevant to the point at issue. Mr. Speaker, Sir, many  Members may raised so many points but you have the onerous responsibility to decide whether the point raised are relevant to the issue before you. You will decide on every relevant matter that has to be brought. It will not redound to the credit of this House nor to your wisdom.

Mr. Speaker :- I understand the point very well Mr. Hynniewta But the question of merger which was raised by Mr. Maham Singh Minister for Parliamentary Affairs was whether he means that the whole APHLC was merged with the Congress party both outside and inside the House. It if implies both inside and outside then Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh's contention is correct. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- But the question is whether the APHLC Party has been dissolved or not. What happens after it merged with the Congress or the HSPDP or the CPI, that is irrelevant. But the question is whether this APHLC Party has been dissolved or not. You talked cognizance of the fact that the APHLC has been duly and legally dissolved. That is the question for you to decide, Sir.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Therefore, I would like a categorical statement from the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, whether he sticks to the word merger. I am ready for a reply.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, what has been communicated to me was that................................(interruption)

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- That communication should be placed on the Table of the House.

Mr. Speaker :- You have also the heavy responsibility to strengthen me. So whatever information that you may give me must be relevant to the question of recognition of any party or group inside the House.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the communication that has been given to me was that not only the APHLC Party has been dissolved, I did not say that it was communicated by certain group of persons, but it was communicated to me by the President and the Joint Secretary of the erstwhile APHLC Party. They were the office bearer of the APHLC Party.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- The question of dissolution .............. (interruption)

Mr. Speaker :- I cannot understand the point of Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. St the beginning you congratulated Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh for having been elected Leader of the Opposition Party and here the question is only about the name.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Parliamentary Affairs) :- I do not object to his being termed himself as the Leader of Opposition but I object to the name of the APHLC.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I am happy that did not allow us to discuss the political question. But here it is linked up. While I entirely agree with my colleague, Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh and his group that his group satisfied the principles of law to form an Opposition group and to function as Opposition, but while you were reading the letter which has been brought to the notice of the House that they would like to be recognised as APHLC, I may point out to you whether they stand dissolved or not. This question cannot be decide by this House because there is claim and counter claim. On the basis of the resolution passed by the Conference at Mendipathar, the President of the then APHLC announced the dissolution of the Party. Now some colleague of mine who could not attend the Conference and desired that the Party should continue also made a reference to the Election Commission that the APHLC still exists and it should be still recognised as a State Party.

        When there is a claim and counter-claim naturally since the APHLC was recognised as a political party in 1970 General Election, the matter either to recognise or de-recognise the party lies with the Election Commission. On this subject there has been correspondence. My General Secretary the then General Secretary of the erstwhile APHLC, communicated the resolution of the Conference and also the announcement of the then APHLC on the strength of the resolution passed in the Conference. Now the Election Commission is examining this cases when there is claim and counter-claim. The then General Secretary, Mr. Nongtdu, sent the proceedings of the Conference to the Election Commission and also a copy of the announcement dissolving the party on the 28th November, 1976. Mr. D.D. Pugh sent a letter to the Election Commission on the 13th November, 1976 and designated himself as the General Secretary. He also requested the Election Commission not to de-recognise the party. Therefore, it is clear that the Election Commission is quasi-judicial body and I think, we cannot here make any decision at this stage either to de-recognise or recognise. I would, therefore, submit Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the number under the leadership of Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh fulfills the provision of the Rules of Procedure to form an opposition group. Till a final decision is made as far as the APHLC question is concerned ...............

Mr. Speaker :- The number fulfils the provision to be recognised as the Opposition Party.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  Yes, Sir, but the name, since the APHLC now stands dissolved. This matter is still pending with the Election Commission.

Mr. Speaker :- According to you, it is not on my part to make a decision on the name of the Party. That is your contention.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- I agree with the Leader of the House when he said that this political decision will not be decided in this House. But, Sir, to say again that this House will have to await the decision of the Commission, that is a very very ......................... (interruption).

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- As far as the name is concerned.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Whatever it is, to object to the name is very wrong. As a matter of fact, Sir, the Election Commission has no authority to impose anything on this House. Your decision in this matter would be final. The third point is that whatever the decision of the Commission, the name will not be there. Therefore, Sir, I could come to the most ordinary common procedure followed every where and also in the court that pending decision the status quo is to remain. But what can a claim do if absurd after absurd claims have been pending decision because we would remain as APHLC. That is the status quo since 1972. Therefore, if they do not recognise what is the difficulty? Even if that political matter had been decided Mendipathar, we remain APHLC since 1972 the status quo remains. Therefore, Sir, I do not understand this absurd claim. I would also quote an example since they have referred to two question to merge. Whether the Minister sticks to the question of merger?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, a fact, is a fact Now, as may colleague has stated, let us forget the Mendipathar Conference. It should be out of this House, since my colleagues are there and we are here.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Defection here or at Mendipathar.

Mr. Speaker :- Anyway, now I think the discussion is closed.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- But, Sir, some big words have been used in this House. I want to be clear on this is we are completely in the dark. What is this about merger?

Mr. Speaker :- I am on my feet. I have get the most important information from both sides of the House and I think Prof. Majaw would like to speak. But he must remember that I have got the relevant information and I do not want that my mind should be surcharged by the temperament shown in the House. I want to think about it coolly and calmly and to reserve my ruling till tomorrow.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- I still think that he would withdraw the word 'merger'.

Mr. Speaker :- The word is not unparliamentary. I would like all to understand the work very well whether in the journalistic parlance or in the political parlance. Then, again, in the constitutional context it is not very relevant and think that a reply is not necessary.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Have you not closed the subject, Mr. Speaker, Sir,? How can anybody raise it again?

Mr. Speaker :- That I have announced. Now item No.2.


Government Bill

        Before I asked the Minister in charge of Law to move, let me read the message from the Governor :

"RAJ BHAVAN,

Tura Circuit House.

Dated 16th December, 1976.

        In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (3) of Art. 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the consideration of the Meghalaya Administration of Justice (Amendment) Bill, 1976.

L.P. SINGH'

Governor of Meghalaya

        Will the Minister now move?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Law, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Administration of Justice (Amendment) Bill, 1976, be taken into consideration.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House that the Bill be taken into consideration.

(The motion was carried)

Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in support to this Bill, may I seek some clarifications. It appears from the statement of objects and reasons of this Bill, the Bill proposes to replace the Meghalaya Administration of Justice (Amendment) Ordinance, 1976, promulgated on 19th October 1976 and published in the Gazette of Meghalaya Extracted on 19th October 1976 for making certain provisions in the administration of civil and criminal justice by the D.C., the A.D.C. and the Assistant D.C. Two new Districts the East Khasi Hills and the West Khasi Hills District were created vide Notification No.HPL.399/75/170 dated 9th October 1976 vide No. 41 of 14th October 1976 of the Gazette of Meghalaya and another Notification No.HPL.49/76/172 dated 12th October 1976 published in the Gazette of Meghalaya vide No. 42 of 21st October 1976. Sir, as we will be seen from these two Notifications in the Gazette of Meghalaya there appears to be slight difference between these two. The Gazette notification which were published on 24th October 1976 and another published on 6th December, 1976 are not very clear. May I get some clarification on this? Then in the Notification which I have just mentioned, i.e., the Notification of 6th December regarding creation of Khasi Hills West into a District and then the renaming of the remaining portion of the present District of Khasi Hills with its Headquarters at Shillong. In this connection, Sir, I would like to get some clarification because there has been, in some circles for the last few days, certain type of suggestions that for this particular District, perhaps it would be more relevant to call it Central Khasi Hills District instead of calling it East Khasi Hills District. As I understand, Sir, a certain gentleman, a prominent person, has written to the Government even in this regard sometimes in the month of July this year. That very gentlemen, if I am not mistaken has tabled a resolution in the District Council since he happens to be an M.D.C. But at that stage since the resolution was to be taken up on 30th November, 1976 and as there was a change in the Ministry in the State just at that time or around that time, he thought that perhaps it would be better not to table that resolution at that particular time. But he wrote again on this matter to the Government. He happened to be the only person to have written to the Government in so far as this matter is concerned. Yet the fact remain that quite a number of persons especially among the educated and the intellectuals have also been discussing this particular subject of renaming this District.

        Sir, their suggestion of renaming this District is the best perhaps and that is to rename it as Central Khasi Hills District. I think the Government also has got some idea on this particular thinking.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to the name it is nto relevant to all to rename it since the District have already been named. So in so far as consideration of this Bill is concerned it is not relevant at all.

Mr. Speaker :- No, I think the hon. Member has sought one information whether the Government has also received such a representation to the effect of renaming the District from certain person ?

Shri W. Syiemiong :- The person who sent a representation was one Mr. Shullai, the then C.E.M. of the Khasi Hills District Council.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Yes, Sir, it was represented by that particular gentleman as informed by the hon. Member but it has been received only when names have already been decided by the Government. We considered it to be good that there would be two Districts and that is the East and West Khasi Hills District, because one is in the East and another is the West. So this proposal to call it Central Khasi Hills District is yet to be discussed. But I do not know whether it can be reconsidered because I am not very sure if there would be three Districts on in the East, one in the West and another in the Middle which would be best to call it as Central District. At present however, only two Districts have been formed. I cannot just rule out whether there may be any possibility to rename it or not because they have already been named. Even Mikir Hills District has already been changed.

Mr. Speaker :- But that is the wish of the people of the area. The hon. Member has only sought clarification on the Notification, dated 24th October 1976 which was substituted by another Notification, dated 6th December, 1976 . This concerns that area.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  Yes, Sir, it concerns that area.

Shri W. Syiemiong :- It concerns particularly the area of Nongspung Syiemship, Sohiong Syiemship and these areas were not included in the Notification of 6th December 1976 and 12th October 1976.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Law) :- It seems that certain areas were not included previously, but then they were added at a subsequent stage an this Bill Mr. Speaker, Sir, will actually apply to all those areas of the two Districts.

Mr. Speaker :- Your explanation is not clear. It appears you are not in possession of these Notifications.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Law) :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, but these areas were not included previously and at a latter stage some of this area were then included. Now I would submit that the change in the areas will not in any way affect this Bill.

Mr. Speaker :- No. The hon. Member is not opposing the Bill, He only wants to seek some clarification.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Subject to correction, you see, Sir, the previous notification must have confined to Nongstoin Subdivision along with the up gradation of the Nongstoin Subdivision to a district. We have also created minor sub-divisions such as Mairang Subdivision; therefore in the previous notification we have added certain areas to the Nongstoin District along with the creation of Mairang Sub-division.

Mr. Speaker :-The area constitutes Mairang Subdivision and forms part of West Khasi Hills District.

Shri W. Syiemiong :- That is not the answer.

Mr. Speaker :- The notification of 12th October, 1976 was cancelled.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  The notification relates to the creation of West Khasi Hills District - "Whereas, for public convenience and better administration, the Governor of Meghalaya considers it necessary to form a new District with its headquarters at Nongstoin, to be known as "West Khasi Hills District" comprising of the areas of the existing Nongstoin Subdivision, Nongspung Syiemship, Sohiong Lyngdohship and Nongkhlaw Syiemship (other other than areas forming part of the present Ri Bhoi Administrative Unit................"

Shri W. Syiemiong :- These are the names of the previous Nongstoin Sub-division whose areas form part of the present District.

Mr. Speaker :- 6th December.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  "The Notification No.HPL.49/76/171, dated the 12th October, 1976 published in the Gazette of Meghalaya, dated the 25th November 1976, Part VA, at page 429 may be treated as cancelled and the following Notification may be substituted Published in the Gazette of December 6th 1976.

Shri W. Syiemiong :- May we know why the earlier notification was cancelled by the subsequent notification of 6th December, 1976? Why in the earlier notification the particular areas were not mention excluding so much area which fall under...............

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-   As I said, with the creation of Mairang Subdivision certain have been added which form part of West Khasi Hills District.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  There is some confusion. The hon. Member has pointed out there are certain anomalies in that notification.

Mr. Speaker :- He only wants to bring to the notice of the Government the mistake on the part of the Government.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  We shall correct in the subsequent notification.

Mr. Speaker :- Since there is no amendment to the Bill, may I ask the Minister to move his motion for passing?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Administrative of Justice (Amendment) Bill, 1976 be passed.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question is that the Meghalaya Administration of Justice (Amendment) Bill, 1976 be passed.

(The motion was carried and the Bill was passed)


A d j o u r m e n t

        The House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M. on Saturday, the 18th December, 1976.

(The House rose at 10.45 A.M.)

D.S. KHONGDUP,

Dated Shillong :

Secretary

The 17th December, 1976.

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.