Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9.30 a.m. on Monday, the 3rd April, 1978 with the Hon. Speaker in the Chair.

************

Mr. Speaker :- Let us start the business of the day by taking up Item No.1 - Questions.


UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

( Replies to which were placed on the Table. )

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Supply of Electricity in West Garo Hills District

Shri Manik Das asked :-

1. Will the Minister-in-charge of Power be pleased to state -

    (a) Whether the Government is aware of the fact that over-head lines have already been installed at Mahendraganj in West Garo Hills District for supplying power to the area?

    (b) Whether it is a fact that till date no generator has been installed for the purpose?

    (c) If the reply to (b) be in the affirmative, what is the reason thereof?

    (d) When can actual supply of power be expected to be made?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) :- replied.

1. (a) - Yes.

    (b) - Yes.

    (c) - The generator has not been installed for want of a suitable plot of land for which efforts are being made.

    (d) - Power supply is likely to be made within 1978-79.        

Mr. Speaker :- Any supplementary questions?

Shri Upstar Kharbuli :- I. (c) Mr. Speaker, Sir. Are Government sure of procuring suitable land during the year? In other words, are they confident that they are getting the land within this year?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, steps have been taken and we hope that the supply of electricity will be made within 1978-79, which means that the land will also be procured.

Grohonsing A. Marak :- May we know from the Minister-in-charge of Power whether the land is under the Nokmas or is it a Khasi land?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) :- I want notice for that.

Allotment of Fund for the development of Cottage Industries in the Border Areas.

Shri S.P. Swer :- asked :

2. Will the Minister-in-charge of Cottage Industries be pleased to state -

    (a) Whether it is a fact that allocation of fund has been made for the development of Cottage Industries in border areas of the State?

    (b) If so, the names of the beneficiaries and the amount sanctioned to each of them?

    (c) Whether there are any rules covering the sanction of such grants and utilisation thereof?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : replied :-

2. (a) - Yes, a sum of Rs.2.59 lakhs has been sanctioned during the current year.

    (b) - A list is placed on the Table of the House.

    (c) - The aid to Industries Acts and the Grants-in-Aid Rules are at present governing for sanction of loan and grants respectively.

Shri S.P. Swer :- 2. (a). May I know from the Minister concerned whether it is a fact that the fund was given by the Border Area Development Department to the Industries Department?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the question is inter-departmental relations. So I would not reply.

Shri S.P. Swer :- The list of beneficiaries was placed on the Table of the House. May we know whether the villages of the beneficiaries are included within the border area?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, generally it is so. 

Mr. Speaker :- Before we pass on to item No.2, I have received a notice from Mr. D.D. Lapang who intends to raise a point on the undue interference of the Government to prorogue the session of the Jaintia Hills District Council on the 28th March, 1978. Now Mr. Lapang.


ZERO HOUR

*Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank you so much for allowing me to raise this discussion under Rule 49A.

Mr. Speaker :- You may raise the point, but not so make any speech.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- We are fully aware, Sir, that Rule 49A does not permit a member to make a speech. But I want only to apprise the House of the circumstances compelling me to request you, Sir, to allow me to raise the discussion, because this is a matter of recent occurrence and of public importance. So I feel it is in the fitness of things to raise this point for discussion. 

Mr. Speaker :- Not for discussion. You may only seek clarification.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Of course, Sir, for clarification only from the Government side. According to the report received by me, the Chairman of the Jaintia Hills District Council had issued three notices summoning the Emergent Session of the District Council of Jaintia Hills to be held on the 28th of March. The first notice was issued on the 25th of March for holding the Session of the Council at 11 o'clock on the 28th. Then notice No.2 was about the business of the day on 28th, that is, the election of the new Chief Executive Member as a result of the resignation of the then Chief Executive Member, Mr. John Deng Pohrmen, and also to consider the budget of the Council  for 1978-79. But on the 27th of March the Chairman has again issued another notice inviting those who were intending to contest for the post of the Chief Executive Member, to send their nomination papers before 3 p.m. on that day. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the 28th of March, the members of the District Council were all present in the House. But when the Chairman came and entered the House, he suddenly declared that I am using his words, as per reports received by him -"according to the W/T. message from the Government, I prorogue the Session until further orders from the Government". Mr. Speaker, Sir, we fail to understand why the District Council as an autonomous body, consisted under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, which has got its own powers and jurisdiction over the District and also the Chairman has got his own power should prorogue the House or otherwise. We are not to question about other things which compelled the Chairman to declare as such. But these things which took place in the House have gone on the record of the District Council that as per W/T. message from the Government, the Chairman was compelled rather pressurised that the Session of the Council should be prorogued.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- May I raise a point Sir. I believe that under Rule 49A, a member who raised a discussion cannot make a speech.

Mr. Speaker :- I have already told him that. Please do not elaborate.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- These are the facts Mr. Speaker, Sir, and I would like to seek clarification from the Government on this and that is why I have raised this question before the House today.

Mr. Speaker :- Any other point?

Shri D.D. Lapang :- I have a few words more. Mr. Speaker, Sir, all the members of the District Council requested the Chairman to read the W/T message. But the Chairman refused to do so. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, this tantamounts to undue interference by the Government with the functioning of the District Council in that District.

Shri Jackman Ch. Marak (Minister, District Council Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to place before the House the full facts connected with the summoning of the session of the Jaintia Hills District Council.

        On the 23rd March, 1978 the Governor, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-rule (5) of Rule 36 of the Assam and Meghalaya Autonomous District ( Constitution of District Councils) Rules decided to summon the Jaintia Hills District Council to meet on the twenty eighth day of March, 1978. The Council was summoned for a specific purpose of passing the vote-on-account budget. Under Rule 109 of the Assam and Meghalaya Autonomous Districts  (Constitution of District Councils) Rules, the Chief Executive Member of the District Council has to lay before the Council a statement of estimated receipts and under Rule 112 of the said Rules the District Council budget shall be presented to the District Council on such day in the proceeding financial year as the Chairman in consultation with the Chief Executive Member may appoint.  Moreover under Rule (3), no demand for grant shall be made except on the recommendation of the Chief Executive member. Hon. Members are aware that the Chief Executive Member of the Jaintia Hills District Council resigned with effect from 10th March 1978 and as such the Chief Executive Member has to be elected by the Council. Keeping in view these facts the date for the meeting of the Jaintia hills District Council was fixed on the 28th March, 1978 because unless the vote-on-account budget is passed the officers, staff, teachers, etc. will not get their salaries and it will cause hardship. This orders of the Governor summoning the session of the District Council was duly communicated to the Council by W/T message on the 24th March 1976.

        But Shri J.D. Pohrmen, Minister-in-charge of Health, etc., Departments. Government of Meghalaya, who is also a Member of the Jaintia Hills District Council represented to the Government that 28th March 1978 had been fixed for election of the Hon'ble Deputy Speaker of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly and on the same day if the election of the Chief Executive Member was held, it would be impossible for four hon. Members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly who are also Members of the District Council, to participate in both the elections. Considering the difficulties of the hon. Members of the House the Government was contemplating to shift the date of the meeting of the Council from 28th March to 29th March, 1978. The matter was discussed informally by the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs Department with the Chairman of the Jaintia Hills District Council and during the discussion it was mentioned by the Chairman that it would be difficult to shift the date as the District Council had already received nomination papers of the intending candidates for the office of the Chief Executive Member. Hence though approval of the Governor had been obtained to the proposal to shift the date of the meeting of the Jaintia Hills District Council from 28th March to 29th March 1978 the Order was not communicated  to the District Council authorities by the Government.

        Hence the question of either Government issuing instructions to the Chairman, Jaintia Hills District Council or of Government interfering in the affairs of the Council does not arise.

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to seek clarification from the Hon'ble Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs. According to the reply given by him that the date has been fixed on the 28th March because one of the members of the District council happened to be a Minister.

Mr. Speaker :- I think many members.

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak :- Mr. Speaker Sir, through you, I want to know whether there is any hard and fast rule in the District Council Rules that because of a member of the District Council being a Minister, the election of the C.E.M. cannot be held.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was stated by the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs that because the election of the Deputy Speaker was to take place on the 28th March, it was considered necessary that the date for the election of the Chief Executive Member should be shifted. I would like to know under what provisions of the District Council Rules, the election of the C.E.M. was postponed as well as shifting of the date, because of the fact that the intending candidates for the office of the C.E.M. have already filed their nomination papers. It is also recognised that there is such urgency that a vote on account would be passed on that day. I would like to know from the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs whether in the opinion of the Government it is more important to enable the hon. Members of this House to participate in the election of the Deputy Speaker than to allow the District Council to have its normal function completed. This is what I would like to know.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not think that the question posed by the Leader of Opposition has any relevance to the discussion that has been raised under rule 49 A. The notice give is very clear and very specific. It says that the hon. Member wishes to raise a discussion under rule 49 A during the Zero Hour on the undue interference of the Government by instructing the Chairman of the Jaintia Hills District Council to prorogue the session of the Council. The question now before the House is whether there was or there was not any interference and whether the Government did in fact  send the instruction or not. That was the question and the Minister-in-Charge of District Council Affairs, has made a statement which is not only clear but is also very full. Therefore, I think the question raised by the hon. Leader of the Opposition is neither here nor there and not very relevant.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Sir, in the course of the statement, the Hon'ble Minister himself made a mention that because one of the Ministers convened a meeting an informal discussion took place. May I know why the notice has been served by the Chairman at the instance of the Government. Was it necessary for the Minister-in-charge to convene the meeting? Does it not indicate the interference of the Government on the District Council Affairs?


 THE MEGHALAYA (MINISTERS' SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES (AMENDMENT) BILL, 1978

Mr. Speaker :- This matter would be coming up under item No.12 or 13 and since this is the zero hour, no such discussion can be raised. So if you want to raise a discussion, you can do it later on. In the, meantime, let us pass on to item No.2. But before I ask the Deputy Chief Minister to move for consideration of the Meghalaya (Ministers' Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1978, let me read the message from the Governor.

"Raj Bhavan
Imphal
March 23rd, 1978.

        In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (3) of Article 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 (Ministers' Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1978.

L.P. Singh

Governor".

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister and Minister-in-charge of Finance). :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya (Ministers' Salaries and (Allowances) Amendment) Bill, 1978 be taken into consideration.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question before the House is that the Meghalaya (Ministers' Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1978 be taken into consideration. The motion is carried.

        Since I have received no amendment to the Bill, the Minister-in-charge to move his motion for passing.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister and Minister-in-charge of Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Bill be passed.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question is that the Meghalaya (Ministers' Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 1978 be passed.

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


THE MEGHALAYA MUNICIPAL (GARO HILLS AUTONOMOUS DISTRICT) BILL, 1978

        Before I call upon the Minister, Municipal Administration to move for consideration of the Meghalaya Municipal (Garo Hills Autonomous District) Bill, 1978. I will read the message from the Governor.

"Raj Bhavan,
Imphal.
March 23, 1978.

        In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (3) of Article 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 Municipal (Garo Hills Autonomous District) Bill, 1978.

Lallan Prasad Singh,

Governor"

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Municipal Administration, etc.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Municipal (Garo Hills Autonomous District) Bill, 1978 be taken into consideration. 

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question is that the Meghalaya Municipal (Garo Hills Autonomous District) Bill, 1978 be taken into consideration.

(The motion is carried).

        Since I  have received no amendment, may I request the Minister, Municipal Administration to move that the Bill be passed.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Municipal Administration, etc.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Municipal (Garo Hills Autonomous District) Bill, 1978 be passed.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question is that the Meghalaya Municipal (Garo Hills Autonomous District) Bill, 1978 be passed.


THE MEGHALAYA FINANCE (Sales-Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1979

        Now, I call upon the Minister, Finance to move that the Meghalaya Finance (Sales Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1978 be taken into consideration.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Finance, Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Finance (Sales Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1978 be taken into consideration.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question before the House is that the Meghalaya Finance (Sales Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1978 be taken into consideration.

        The motion is carried. Since there is no amendment to the Bill, the Minister may move the motion for passing.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Finance, Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Finance (Sales Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1978 be passed.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question is that the Meghalaya Finance (Sales Tax) (Amendment) Bill, 1978 be passed.

        The motion is carried the Bill is passed.

        Let us come to item No.5. May I request the Chief Minister to move the resolution.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I actually move the resolution, I wish to state that the amendment has become necessary because some facts have not been brought to our notice when we gave notice of our intention to come forward with this resolution. These facts came to our notice at a later stage. So the resolution with the oral amendment will now read as follows: "That this House ratifies the amendment to the Constitution of India failing within the purview of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 368 thereof proposed to be made by the Constitution (Forty-fourth) (Amendment) Bill, 1977, as passed by the two Houses of Parliament and the short title of which has been changed into the Constitution (Forty-third) (Amendment) Act, 1977".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. So you can initiate discussion if you like.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the House is aware, the Constitution (Forty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 1977 has been passed by the Lok Sabha on the 20th December, 1977 and by the Rajya Sabha on the 23rd December, 1977. The Bill seeks to delete Articles 31D, 32, 131A. 144A. The Bill seeks to delete Articles 226A and Article 366 which were inserted by the Constitution (Forty-Second Amendment) Act, 1976. The Bill further seeks to make necessary consequential amendments to Articles 145 and 228 of the Constitution.


Ratification of the Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Bill, 1977

        2. It is considered that the powers conferred on Parliament by Article 31D to make laws in respect of anti-national activities and anti-national associations are of a sweeping nature and are capable of abuse. Articles 32A, 131A. 144A, 226A and 228A directly and indirectly curtail the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts to review the constitutionality of laws. It is considered that these Articles would cause hardship to persons living in distant parts in India and would also lead to multiplicity of proceedings as cases relating to validity of a State law, which would be disposed of by the Supreme Court itself, have to be heard first by the High Court. Further, the requirement of a minimum number of judges to hear and decide questions involving the validity of laws has resulted in a waste of Judge-Power and has tended to make for delays in the disposal of cases. The Supreme Court also has recommended modification of this provision.

        3. For this reason, it is necessary that the Constitution (Forty-Fourth Amendment) Bill should become law as early as possible. The Bill, it would be recalled, met with no opposition during its passage in Parliament and was acceptable to all sections and all shades of political opinion, and therefore Mr. Speaker, Sir, I commend that this resolution be adopted. 

Mr. Speaker :- Anybody to participate in the resolution?

        Since nobody wants to participate, now I put the question. The question is that this House ratifies the amendments to the Constitution of India failing the purview of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 368 thereof proposed to be made by the Constitution (Forty-fourth) (Amendment) Bill, 1977, as passed by the two Houses of Parliament.

        ( The motion was carried and the resolution was adopted).

         Let us come to item No.6.


Laying of Orders

Shri Jackman Ch. Marak (Minister of District Council Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Order of the Governor, vide Notification No. DCA 79/76/58 dated 25th March, 1978 for taking over the administration of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council together with reasons for taking over the administration.


Motion for suspension of Rules.

Mr. Speaker :- Item No.7.

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister of Parliament Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following motion.

        That Sub-rule (4) of rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in its application to the resolution for approval of the Order No. DCA. 79/76/58, dated 25th March, 1978 of the Governor 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 and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in its application to the resolution for approval of the Order No. DCA. /79/76/58 dated 25th March, 1978 of the Governor be suspended in so far as the said sub-rule requires seven days' notice for moving the resolution.

        The Motion was carried.

        Item No.8.


GOVERNMENT RESOLUTION

Shri Jackman Ch. Marak (Minister, District Council Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following resolution: Whereas the term of the members of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council expired on the 25th  March, 1977;

        Whereas the term of members the aforesaid Autonomous District Council was extended by the Governor as circumstances then existed which rendered the holding of the election to the said District Council impracticable;

        Whereas the election to the District Council was not held during the said extended period of one year; 

        Whereas the Governor was not satisfied that the circumstances existed which rendered the holding of the election impracticable,

        Whereas the Governor was satisfied that it would not be in the public interest to extend the term of the members of the said District Council for any further period;

        And whereas on expiry of the extended term of the members of the said District Council the Governor has assumed to himself the administration of the said District Council under sub-paragraph (2) of paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to Constitution vide  Notification No. DCA 79/76/58, dated 25th March, 1978 and has also taken necessary steps fore holding of the election to the said District Council immediately.

        Now, therefore, the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya does hereby resolve that the Order of the Governor No. DCA. /79/76/58, dated 25th March, 1978, notified under sub. paragraph (2) of paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule the Constitution assuming to himself the administration of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council including all function of powers vested in or exercisable by the said District Council be approved as provided under sub-paragraph (3) of Paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

*Shri W.A. Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to have a definite information from the Hon'ble Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs with reference to sub-rule (3) of Rule, 7. Of course, it is the duty of the Government to dissolve the District Council when it completes its term. But sub-rule (3) of Rule 7 says "notwithstanding anything contained in this rule, the term of office of the members of the Executive Committee of the District Council who were in the office immediately prior to the date of the dissolution of the Council, as provided in sub-section (1), shall continue till the date of the formation of the executive Committee by the newly elected members of the District Council. So, I would like to be informed in clear terms by the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs as to what was the unavoidable reason for not allowing this sub-rule to operate. In other words, why the Government did not consider allowing the Executive Committee to continue as a care-taker body till the formation of the new Executive Committee. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I know the existing executive Committee enjoys the confidence of the majority of the District Council and there is no reason according to my knowledge why this sub-rule should not operate and the existing Executive Committee to function till the new Executive Committee is formed after the election. I would like to be told in clear terms, what made the Government fail to resort to this particular sub-rule, i.e., sub-rule (3) of Rule 7. The existing Executive Committee enjoys, the confidence of the majority and if there was some difficulty, under the constitutional provision, the Government could have taken up the administration. But there is no reason stated in the order of the Government to justify its action for not allowing the existing Executive Committee to function till the formation of the new Executive  Committee. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this sub rule is very clear. I will repeat,. Notwithstanding anything contained in this rule, the term of office of the members of the Executive Committee of the District Council who were in office immediately prior to the date of the dissolution of the Council, as provided in sub-section (1), shall continue till the date of the formation of the Executive Committee by the newly elected District Council. Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I remind the House that after the last election before the new Government was formed and even the last election before the new Government was formed and even when I tendered my resignation the Governor asked me to continue as care-taker Government although my party did not return in the majority. Here there is a much better case. Under sub-rule (3) of Rule 7 the present Executive Committee should have completed its term as a care-taker Executive Committee till the formation of the newly elected Committee. So I would like to to be told by the Government why they could not resort to this sub-rule instead of taking over the administration.

*Shri Snowmick Kalwing :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to say a few words on the dissolution of the Garo Hills District Council and I should say that this dissolution is undemocratic. What the Leader of the Opposition said is quite true. Now, let us refer to Article 16 sub-para 2 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India". It says if at any time the Governor is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the administration of an autonomous district or region cannot be carried on in accordance with the provision of this Schedule, he may, by public notification, assume to himself all or any of the functions or powers vested in or exercisable by the District of the functions or powers vested in or exercisable by the District Council". Now there is no such situation arising here that, the Garo Hills District, as the Leader of the Opposition said; No (1) the Garo Hills District Council enjoys absolute majority and No. (2) there is no such situation in which the Council cannot function properly or it is a case where the District Council cannot pass their own budget as it happened in the Khasi Hills District Council. Further Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no such situation to satisfy the Governor that this Garo Hills District Council should be dissolved when the elections have not yet been held. Now, therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that this action of dissolution of the Garo Hills District Council is undemocratic and is against the principle and spirit of the Constitution of the District Council here in our State.

Mr. Speaker :- Minister-in-charge to reply.

* Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it has been stated by the hon. member from Jirang that the action of the Government in dissolving the Garo Hills District Council is most undemocratic. I would like to remind the hon. Member, through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, and the entire House that the Government has not dissolved the District Council. What the Government has done is not to extend the term of the Council. What the Government has done is not to extend the term of the Council. Dissolution and not extending the term of the Council are two different things. The Government was constrained to take this decision because of the very very clear and definite provisions of the law in the proviso to sub-para 6 (a) or paragraph 2 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution where it is very clearly laid down that the Governor may extend the term of the Council only on two grounds. Ground No. (1) is while proclamation of emergency is in operation. There is no emergency in the country and there is no emergency in the State. Therefore, the question of the Governor extending the term of the Council just did not arise. Secondly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Governor may extend the term of the Council if he is satisfied that the holding of elections is impracticable, or if there is a situation which renders the elections impracticable then the Governor may extend the term of the Members of the District Council. But the entire House I think will agree with me when I said that (a) there is no emergency, and (b) there is nothing to render the holding of the election impracticable We can hold the elections to the District Council and, therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when the Leader of the Opposition wanted to know why the Government did not allow the care-taker Executive Committee to continue, in that connection Mr. Speaker, Sir, I hate t have to say that we were guided only one consideration and one consideration only. We have not appointed or allowed a care-taker Committee because we wanted to ensure that the elections, must be and shall be held within a reasonable time, and in fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government has already fixed the date for polling and the detailed programme is being worked out. I am saying this Mr. Speaker, Sir, from the last experience we have had in respect of one of the District Councils in the State. The Members of the District Council who had been elected in 1957, their term should have ended in 1962, but you may recall Mr. Speaker, Sir, that their term went on and is getting extended from year to year and the actual life of that particular council lasted for 10 years. That is one of the reasons why we consider it absolutely essential that no care-taker Executive Committee be given the charge of running....

( Pandemonium in the House )

Mr. Speaker :- Order, order, order.

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Chief Minister) -:- In running the administration because the term of the then Council had been extended by 365 days to enable them to hold the elections, but 365 days went by and elections were not held (voices shame, shame )). Because of our genuine anxiety to ensure that the elections are held and because it is a popular demand of the people of that Autonomous District Council that we had take this step. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I only wish to say that the action of the Government was taken with the genuine motive of upholding the people their democratic rights to elect new Members to the District Council. 

* Shri W.A. Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry to say that the statement given by the Chief Minister is irrelevant to the points raised by me. It was contended that the Care-Taker Executive Committee was not allowed lest the elections may not be held and the term of the District Council may further be extended as it was with the term of the Khasi Hills District Council which was extended for 9 years. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will agree with me in this that by order of the Governor, the term of the District Council has been already terminated. The question of further extension does not arise. There is no other plea. Is it because of the order terminating the term of the District Council of the Garo Hills Autonomous District? My only point is this: Why sub-rule (3) of rule 7 was not resorted to? The Caretaker Government cannot further withhold the election. We have been told by the Leader of the House that they have almost fixed the date for the lection. Here I would like to be clearly told by the Leader of the House because the reason given is not relevant to this. It was argued, as in the case of the Khasi Hills District Council, that its term has been terminated. The Executive Committee has no more right to extend the term of the District Council. By the order of the Governor it has been terminated and the rules simply say this : "Notwithstanding anything contained in this rule, the term of office of the members of the Executive Committee of the District Council who are in office immediately prior to the date of dissolution of the Council as provided in Sub-rule (1) shall continue till the date of the formation of the Executive Committee of the newly elected District Council". Mr. Speaker, Sir, "shall continue". "Shall", it is obligatory till the date of the formation of the Executive Committee. Whether it makes no different, or we simply do not extend it, the meaning is the same. But the term of the Council has been extended. What the provision of the rule says - I will read it again for the benefit of the House : "Notwithstanding anything contained in this rule, the term of the office of the members of the Executive Committee of the District Council who are in office immediately prior to the date of dissolution of the Council as provided in sub-rule (1) shall continue till the date of the formation of the Executive Committee of the newly elected District Council". Now the date has been fixed for the election of the rules it is a violation....(Voices- Shame: shame: ). It is a matter of great of shame. It has not been amendment. It is obligatory and unless the Government can show the corrupt motive or this or that but there is nothing to show. I do not know why this has been clearly neglected. I would like to get an answer to this and it has nothing to do with the extension of the Khasi Hills District Council for 9 years. The term has been terminated the a the election processed have been started and the date has been fixed. The Leader of the House  cannot take the plea for further extension. I would like to ask the Leader of the House to give us a satisfactory reason why this rule has been neglected, i.e., Sub-rule (3) of Rule 7 of these Rules.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have already made a very clear an categorical statement .........

( Voices - It is not) ( Interruption )

Shri S. Kalwing :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not clear about the dissolution or the non-extension of the term of the Council. It amounts to the same thing. It has been only for this propose that even the Minister-in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs has brought another resolution suspending Rule 115 (4) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the House only for this dissolution of the Garo Hills District Council. Otherwise, he should not have brought the motion for suspension of Rule 115(4). So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not satisfied with the explanation of the Chief Minister. How this District Council which is constituted under the provision of the Sixth Schedule......

Mr. Speaker :- No, he has not replied to that........

( Interruptions)

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to..............

 ( Interruptions )

Mr. Speaker :- By way of participation any member can speak but the reply will be given by the Minister-in-charge.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir,...........

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, from this side we are demanding something and the Minister-in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs....

( Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker :- I was saying that by way of participation any member can take part. I am not saying that the member can reply. The reply will be given by the Minister-in-charge himself.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, from the statement of facts on the decision of the Government we have a very clear position that the District Council elections will be held on the date fixed. I was given to understand that the date will be fixed next month or within two months or so. Therefore, the running of the District Council for a period of one or two months is not a very substantive matter. It is only a matter of technical detail.

Mr. Speaker :- May I inform the hon. Members that what Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh says is only his personal opinion.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- The members can express any view. Here is a matter of technical detail of running the District Council for a temporary period of one or two months and as provided under the Rules either it can be run by the Administrator and the Governor may appoint an Administrator temporarily till elections are held or by a caretaker Executive Committee. Therefore, I do not understand why it should be taken so seriously. All this is only a technical matter of detail for running the District Council for a temporary period. IT is provided under the constitution - that it may be run by the Governor or by a Caretaker. It is a matter of technical detail. So we should not get so agitated over it. It would not have any substantive effect at all. It is, therefore, my submission that we should not get so worked up over a matter of administrative detail.

Shri Maham Singh :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also want to say a word on this. According to the democratic principles a Caretaker Government is always allowed to continue till a new Government comes into office. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this very case, I would like to say that, as already stated by the Opposition, the Executive Committee Members enjoy the majority of the District Council. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would submit that this is a particular instance in which the present Government has shown no respect whatsoever to the elected representative of the people. They though it much better that the District Council be run by an Executive Committee rather than by the elected representatives of the people.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- For the information of the hon. Member, Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, I don't know from which constituency he comes. 

( Voices - From Lyngkyrdem Constituency ) 

        With your permission, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would read out Rule 7 Sub-rule (1) : It says "Every District Council unless sooner dissolved shall continue for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting. 

        Provided that the said period may be extended by the Governor by notification in the Gazette for a period not exceeding one year at a time.

        (2) All members, both elected and nominated, shall hold office during the life of the District Council:

        Provided that a member elected or nominated to fill a casual vacancy shall hold office for the remainder of the term of office of the member whom he replaces.

        (3) Notwithstanding anything contained in this rule, the term of office of the members of the Executive Committee of a District Council, who are in office immediately prior to the date of dissolution of the Council as provided in sub-rule (1), shall continue till the date of the formation of the Executive Committee of the newly elected District Council".

        It is clear that this is a violation of Sub-rule (3) by this Government Mr. Speaker, Sir. There is no alternative and it is a violation of this rule...( Voices - Yes, yes) .....

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the penultimate paragraph of the resolution moved by the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs, it says "and whereas on expiry of the extended term of the members of the said District Council, the Governor has assumed to himself the administration of the said District Council under sub-paragraph (2) of para graph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution vide  Notification No. DCA. 79/76/58, dated 25th March, 1978 and has also taken necessary steps for holding of the election to the said District Council immediately". Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Leader of the Opposition has contended that according to the provisions of sub-rule (3) of Rule 7 it is mandatory on the part of the Government to allow the care taker Executive Committee to continue not withstanding anything contained in the whole of Rule 7. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, we would like to point out that in this particular question with regard to the Garo Hills District Council assumption of powers has already been done according to the provisions of the Constitution. That provision can be found at paragraph 16 (2) of the Sixth Schedule. So we have made it very clear Mr. Speaker, Sir, and I should also say that notwithstanding anything contained in rule 7, paragraph 16(2) applies and the powers are vested in the Governor. Under this paragraph Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Governor has decided to assume to himself all, I repeat all or any of the functions or powers vested in or exercisable by the District Council. This Mr. Speaker, Sir, is what the Governor has done according to what is provided under the Constitution and the action taken by the Governor was under the provision of the Constitution. So I think the action taken by the Governor is quite normal, perfect and in order according to the provisions of the Constitution. it is at the discretion of the Governor whether to apply the provisions of the Constitution or not.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Under which rule?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Under the provisions of the Constitution.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- No, no. I would like to get the specific rule Mr. Speaker, Sir. Now paragraph 16, sub-rule (2) of the Constitution says "If at any time the Governor is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the administration of an autonomous district or region cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Schedule, he may, by public notification, assume to himself all or any of the functions or powers vested in or exercisable by the District Council or, as the case may be, the Regional Council, and declare that such functions or powers shall be exercisable by such person or authority as be may specify in this behalf, for a period not exceeding six months".

        The question here for the period of six months does not arise. This provision has been fixed for this rule as framed under paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule and as such this cannot be resorted to as there is no satisfactory reason. So it is a clear violation of this rule and I would like to request the Minister-in-charge to give his reply on this particular question.

Mr. Speaker :- From the Government side, whether they would like to give a reply? If not I will put the question before the House. It is for the Chief Minister to reply. May I request the Chief Minister to state what Government have got to say on what the Leader of Opposition has said?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with great emphasis the Leader of the Opposition has sought to make out the case by relying entirely on sub-rule (3) of Rule 7. But it is our contention and submission that the rule cannot violate the provisions of the Constitution. (Voices - yes, yes......) Paragraph 16 (2) is clear that it is at the discretion of the Governor whether to apply or not to apply the provisions of the Constitution. Now if the members on the other side of the House refuse to be convinced on this we have nothing more to say.

Mr. Speaker :- So let me put the question before the House. The question is that "whereas the term of the members of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council expired on the 25th March, 1977; whereas the term of the members of the aforesaid Autonomous District Council was extended by the Governor as circumstances then existed which rendered the holding of the election to the said District Council impracticable;

       Whereas the election to the District Council was not held during the said extended period of one year;

       Whereas the Governor was not satisfied that the circumstances exist which render the holding of the election impracticable;

        Whereas the Governor was satisfied that it would not it be in the public interest to extend the term of the members of the said District Council for any further period;

        And whereas on expiry of the extended term of the member of the said District Council, the Governor has assumed to himself the administration of the said District Council under sub-paragraph (2) of Paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution vide  Notification No. DCA. 79/76/58 dated 25th March, 1978 and has also taken necessary steps for holding of the election to the said District Council immediately;

        Now, therefore, the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya does hereby resolve that the Order of the Governor No. DCA. 79/76/58 dated 25th March, 1978, notified under sub-paragraph (2) of Paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution assuming to himself the administration of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council including all functions and powers vested in or exercisable by the said District Council be approved as provided under sub-paragraph (3) of Paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

( The resolution was put in the form of a question).

Shri W.A. Sangma :- We press for a division, Sir.

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Under Rule 292 we may move for a division.

Mr. Speaker :- Let me put again the question before the House. The question is "whereas the term of the members of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council expired on the 25th March, 1977;

        Whereas the term of the members of the aforesaid Autonomous District Council was extended by the Governor as circumstances then existed which rendered the holding of the election to the said District Council impracticable;

        Whereas the election to the District Council was not held during the said extended period of one year;

        Whereas the Governor was not satisfied that the circumstances exist which render the holding of the election impracticable;

        Whereas the Governor was satisfied that it would not be in the public interest to extend the term of the members of the said District Council for any further period;

        And whereas on expiry of the extended term of the member of the said District Council, the Governor has assumed to himself the administration of the said District Council under sub-paragraph (2) of Paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution vide Notification No. DCA. 79/76/58 dated 25th March, 1978 and has also taken necessary steps for holding of the election to the said District Council immediately;  

        Now, therefore, the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya does hereby resolve that the order of the Governor No. DCA. 79/76/58 dated 25th March, 1978, notified under sub-paragraph (2) of Paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution assuming to himself the administration of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council including all functions and powers vested in or exercisable by the said District Council be approved as provided under sub-paragraph (3) of Paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution".

(Division)

Mr. Speaker :- Now, I declare the result of the division.

Ayes - 35

Noes - 21

( The motion was carried and the Resolution was adopted ).

        Let us come now to item No. 9. The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs to move the motion.

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that sub-rule (4) of Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in its application to the resolution for approval of the Order No. DCA. 99/77/V, dated 6th December, 1977 of the Governor be suspended in so far as the said sub-rule requires seven days' notice for moving the resolution.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this connection, I do not want to oppose the motion but I would only point out that there has been a slackness on the part of the Government. We should all try to avoid as far as practicable the suspension of the rule. Mr. Speaker, Sir, suspension of the rule could have been avoided and seven clear days' notice could have been given for moving this resolution. The order was passed on 6th December, 1977 and this Session started from 14th of March. Notice could have been given much earlier and well ahead of time for moving this resolution. I would only say that there has been a great slackness on the part of the Government for not giving in time and moving this resolution now by suspending the rules. This is my only observation.

*Shri W.A. Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is in conformity with the statement made by the Leader of the House that through the Governor's Address it was assured that this Government is meant for clean and efficient administration and I would like to put the question before the House whether there is any efficiency in this Government because there was sufficient time to give this notice and as pointed out by my colleague, the Session started on the 14th of March. So, there is no reason for the delay and I should say that there is lack of efficiency in the administration.

* Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs etc.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are happy that this point has been brought out here. But here I would like to point out that these friends were sitting in these benches and they have brought this resolution only on 7th December when our friends in the Opposition were in power and Sir, they failed to bring this resolution. Now, Sir, we have brought this resolution and of course there might have been a little delay here and there and of course now we have come forward with this resolution and as the time is very short, we have moved for the suspension of the rules. As per the criticism given by one of the hon. Members from the Opposition, we will try our best, next time, to be faster in such matters.

Mr. Speaker :- Now the question before the House is that Sub-rule (4) of Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in its application to the resolution for approval of the Order No. DCA. 99/77/V, dated 6th December, 1977 of the Government be suspended in so far as the said sub-rule requires seven days' notice for moving the resolution.

(The motion was carried and the resolution was adopted.)

        So, may I request the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs to move the Item No. 10 ?

Shri Jackman Marak (Minister, District Council Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following resolution :-

        "Whereas, vote-on-account budget presented by the Chief executive Member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council before the District Council on 1st day of December, 1977 was rejected by the majority of the members of the said Council;


STATEMENT UNDER RULE 55

        And whereas, the Governor was satisfied that the situation had arisen in which the administration of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council could not be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and accordingly, has assumed to himself the administration of the said District Council in exercise of powers conferred under sub-paragraph (2) of paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution vide Notification No. DCA. 99/77/V, dated the 6th December, 1977;

        Now, therefore, the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya does hereby resolve that the order of the Governor No. DCA. 99/77/V, dated 6th December, 1977, notified under sub-paragraph (2) of Paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution assuming to himself the administration of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council including all functions and powers vested in or exercisable by the said District Council be approved as provided under sub-paragraph (3) of Paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question before the House is: Whereas, vote-on-account budget presented by the Chief Executive Member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council before the District Council on 1st day of December, 1977 was rejected the majority of the members of the said Council;

        And whereas, the Governor was satisfied that the situation had arisen in which the administration of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council could not be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and accordingly, has assumed to himself the administration of the said District Council in exercise of powers conferred under sub-paragraph (2) of paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution vide Notification No. DCA. 99/77/V, dated the 6th December, 1977;

        Now, therefore, the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya does hereby resolve that the order of the Governor No. DCA. 99/77/V, dated 6th December, 1977, notified under sub-paragraph (2) of Paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution assuming to himself the administration of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council including all functions and powers vested in or exercisable by the said District Council be approved as provided under sub-paragraph (3) of Paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

(The motion was carried and the resolution was adopted.)

        Now, before we pass on to Item No.11, I request the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs to make a statement under Rule 55.

Shri Jackman Marak (Minister, District Council Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-rule (5) of Rule 36 of the Assam and Meghalaya Autonomous Districts (Constitution of District Councils) Rule, 1951, the Governor summoned a meeting of the Jaintia Hills District Council to meet on the 28th March, 1978. The meeting was fixed for the purposes of the election of the Chief Executive Members and for the passing of the budget of the Council for the next financial year. But the Council was prorogued on that day. it is impracticable for the Governor to summon the session of the District Council for the purpose of passing the budget before the close of the current financial year and an impasse was created. The Governor was satisfied that the administration of the District Council cannot be carried on according to the provision of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and accordingly, assumed to himself the administration of the said District Council as provided in sub-paragraph (2) of paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. The copy of the Notification No. DCA. 56/77/100 dated 31st March, 1978 issued is placed on the table of the House.

Mr. Speaker :- Let us come to item No. 11. Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs.

Shri Jackman Marak (Minister, District Council Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the order of the Governor vide Notification No. DCA. 56/77/100, dated 31st March, 1978, for taking over the administration of the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council together with reasons for taking over the administration.


MOTION FOR SUSPENSION OF RULES

Mr. Speaker :- Item No.12. Minister-in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs.

 Prof. M.N. Majaw (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that sub-rule (4) of Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in its application to the resolution for approval of the Order No. DCA. 56/77/100 dated 31st March, 1978 of the Governor be suspended in so far as the said sub-rule requires seven days notice for moving the resolution.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved.

Prof. M.N. Majaw (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Sir, may I point out that this resolution has to be moved because after the 31st of March, this is the first day that we have this business.

Mr. Speaker :- The question before the House is that sub-rule (4) of Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in its application to the resolution for approval of the Order No. DCA. 56/77/100, dated 31st March 1978 of the Governor be suspended in so far as the said sub-rule requires seven days' notice for moving the resolution.

        The motion is carried and the rule is suspended.

Mr. Speaker :- Item No. 13. 

Shri Jackman Marak (Minister, District Council Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following resolution :-

        WHEREAS, the Jaintia Hills District Council was summoned by the Governor to meet on the 28th day of march, 1978 for passing the budget of the Council fore the next financial year;

        WHEREAS, the said Council was prorogued before the said budget was passed by the council.

        WHEREAS, it was impracticable for the Governor to summon the session of the District Council for passing the budget before the close of the current financial year;

        AND, WHEREAS, the Governor was satisfied that a situation had arisen in which the administration of the Jaintia Hills District Council could not be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Sixth Schedule the Constitution and accordingly, has assumed to himself the administration of the said District Council in exercise of powers under sub-paragraph (2) of paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution vide  Notification No. DCA. 56/77/100, dated 31st March, 1978;

        NOW, therefore, the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya does hereby resolve that the Order of the Governor No. DCA. 56/77/100, dated 31st March, 1978 notified under sub-paragraph (2) of paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution assuming to himself the administration of the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council including all functions and powers vested in or exercisable by the said District Council be approved as provided under sub-paragraph (3) of paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to discuss this resolution moved by the Hon'ble Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs. I have already been allowed by you during the zero hour to raise it now because during the zero hour there is a restriction not to elaborate the points. So I take this privilege of bringing some more points. Sir, the way in which the Government has taken over the administration of the District Council of Jaintia Hills is highly undemocratic through the Governor's Address which we will find in the very first page of the Address which speaks about reaffirmation of the will of the people, the restoration of the fundamental rights and the resurrection of democratic ideals. They are very high-sounding words. It further went on to say, to provide a clean and efficient administration. But a a few days after under the cloak of resurrection of democratic ideals the picture is quite the other way round. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have already referred to the notice issued by the Chairman of the District Council. This is an autonomous body embodied and constituted under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, and the Government has got no authority to interfere with the day to day affairs of the Council. But the Chairman very clearly stated the very moment he entered the House that as per W/T message of the Government and the statement made by the Hon'ble Speaker that the Government has really interfered in the affairs. 

Mr. Speaker :- Did I say that?


GOVERNMENT RESOLUTION

* Shri D.D. Lapang :- I am sorry, Sir. The Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs stated that in view of the fact that there was the election of the Deputy Speaker of this House and in order to allow the members of the District Council to cast their votes here they have tried their best to shift the date and ultimately the shifting did not take place at all. Therefore, the intention behind all that is just after the prorogation of the sitting of the District Council on the 28th March, here comes the resolution that the Government has taken over the administration of the District Council. Now the Government under the cloak of resurrection of democratic, ideals has come to this very august House with this resolution. But here is the real picture of the so-called democratic ideals. It is very unfortunate that this is the way of tyrannical action of the Government by taking advantage of the situation without any rhyme and reason which has presented a very bad image of the present structure of the Government. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I say that this resolution has really damaged the real structure, the real institution of the democratic ideals and democratic fundamental rights of the people. The District Council in Jaintia Hills is the elected body represented by the elected people. So this body should be respected. I cannot imagine how in such a short time the Government has assumed its present role through this constituted ministry. They have had a grudge against the last ministry and they are against survival of the democratic ideals. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I express my real concern on the unfortunate action taken by the present Government..

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was trying to raise the point. I was wondering wondering whether there was any valid reason on the part of the Government to intervene in the matter. The Governor means the Government. Mr. Speaker, Sir, while the District Council session was summoned under Rule 36 it should be understood that it was done on the advice of the Government. From the statement of the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs, it was admitted that some of the M.L.As. from Jaintia Hills who happen to be members of the District Council submitted representation in case they had to go down to Jowai in order to participate in the new Chief Executive Member's election and also passing of the vote-on-account as it may not be possible to exercise their vote in the election of the Deputy Speaker. It was admitted in that representation that an informal discussion took place. Therefore it is admitted on the very floor of this august House and it can be well understood. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on that ground some advice had been sent to the Chairman. Mr. Speaker, Sir, let us examine the position. You have the right to prorogue the House. The session has been fixed on the 28th of last months and the only business to be transacted was the election of the Chief Executive Member of the Jaintia Hills Council and passing of the Vote-on-account. What has prompted the Chairman that as soon as he entered the House to prorogue the House without conducting the business. Now as stated by the Minister-in-charge that the Government did not interfere, but it was clear from the Government's approach headed by the Minister-in-charge of Health. Therefore it is very clear Mr. Speaker Sir ' that the rule does not state clearly that the Governor has not summoned the session. I pay my due respect the Chairman of the District Council. He has got his jurisdiction to prorogue the House under this rule. "The Chairman was said to summon the District Council under sub-rule (1) or (3) and may also prorogue". Prorogation does come as we all know being in State Legislature and also members of the District Council for many years, only after transaction of business. In case the business of the House according to the approved calendar could not be completed the session is adjourned. If 28th of last months was very important in connection with the other business why it was adjourned for one day. The date could be shifted or the Council could meet on that day after 3 p.m.. It is because of certain interference and certain motive of the Government that such a situation has been brought in the Jaintia Hills District Council. As pointed out by my colleague the hon. member from Nongpoh, it is quite contrary to the policy statement of the Government. They desire to maintain relationship with the District Council. It is very unfortunate as the situation could have been avoided. Such situation could not have come today in this House. I would like through you, Sir, the members of this august House to search their hearts and put this question to themselves so that the question of democratic set up could be saved rather than destroyed. I would therefore suggest, let us take over the District Council temporarily and some amount be sanctioned for a short period and let the District Council be re-summoned and the election of the Chief Executive Member and the passing of the regular budget take place. Let us show to the world that we are not making a mistake as ultimately we have to surrender to the democratic forces. Let this Government realise the mistake and allow the democratic ideals to regret that such action should have been taken by the Government to the extent that the democratic set up the Khasi and Jaintia Hills District Council has been brought to such a situation.

Mr. Speaker :- Now the Minister-in-charge to reply.

* Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the first instance I would like to draw the pointed attention of the House to the fact that the resolution now before the House seeks the approval of the House to the order of the Governor passed on the 31st march, of the House to the order of the Governor passed on the 31st March, 1978 assuming to himself the administration of the Autonomous Jaintia Hills District Council. The business in hand before the House now is not to raise a discussion on how and in what manner the Jaintia Hills District Council's session was held. In any case, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to submit that it has already been clearly stated by the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs taht there was no question of interfering in the affairs of the District Council not did we communicate any advice or instructions to the Chairman of the Jaintia Hills District Council. But attempts have been made by the members of the other side of the House to create an impression that the Government has in fact committed a mistake in passing this order. But the facts of the case are, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Jaintia Hills District Council did meet on the 28th March, 1978 and could not elect the C.E.M. which means that the budget could not even be presented.......

Shri W.A. Sangma :- On a point of information, Mr. Speaker, Sir, how election could take place and the budget could be presented when the Chairman prorogued the session?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am stating the facts as they are. I have already said that this is not the forum where we can raise a discussion on how and in what manner the session of the District Council was prorogued. But the facts of the case are that the District Council, when it met on the 28th March, 1978, could not elect the CEM and in the absence of the C.E.M. no budget proposal could even be presented. Therefore, the budget could not be passed and that, as stated earlier by my colleague, the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs, would have created hardship for the officers, staff, teachers and others who are connected with the District Council. Therefore, it became absolutely essential for the Governor to take over the administration of the Jaintia Hills District Council unto himself because by doing so be could authorise the expenditure. In any case, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to assure the leader of the Opposition that as a Government which believes in democracy and in the principles of democracy, we shall only be too glad to hand over the administration to the newly elected Executive Committee of the District Council as soon as the District Council is able to elect its leader but not Mr. Speaker, Sir I repeat not because we have committed a mistake; not that we have committed a mistake that the Government took over the administration of the District Council. But for the reasons we believe in democracy and in democratic principles, we are prepared to give the commitment that as soon as the District Council is able to elect its leader, the C.E.M. and form the Executive Committee, we shall hand over the administration back to that Executive Committee.

Mr. Speaker :- Now, I put the question before the House. The question is that -

        Whereas the Jaintia Hills District Council was summoned by the Governor to meet on the 28th March, 1978 for passing the budget of the Council for the next financial year ;

        Whereas the said Council was prorogued before the said budget was passed by the Council;

        Whereas it was impracticable for the Governor to summon the session of the District Council for passing the budget before the close of the current financial year;

        And, whereas, the Governor was satisfied that a situation had arisen in which the administration of the Jaintia Hills District Council could not be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and accordingly, has assumed to himself the administration of the said District Council in exercise of the powers under sub paragraph (2) of paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution vide Notification No-DCA. 56/77/100 dated 31st March 1978;

        Now, therefore, the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya does hereby resolve that the Order of the Governor No. DCA. 56/77/100 dated 31st March, 1978 notified under sub-paragraph (2) of paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution assuming to himself the administration of the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council including all functions and powers vested in or exercisable by the said District Council be approved as provided under sub-paragraph (3) of paragraph 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

(The motion was carried and the resolution was adopted ).

Item No.14.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister ) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay on the table of the House a copy of the Election Commission's Notification No. 282/1/MEG/77, dated 17th January, 1978.


ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Speaker :- Since there is no other business for today, the House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M. tomorrow the 4th April, 1978. 

D.S. KHONGDUP,
Dated Shillong, Secretary,
the 3rd April, 1978. Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

.............