Gov­er­nor to de­cide fate of 17 Megha­laya MLAs

The Megha­laya High Court had held in­valid the State law pro­vid­ing for ap­point­ment of Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­taries, but left it to the Gov­er­nor to de­ter­mine if those who held the post should be dis­qual­i­fied from the Assem­bly

The Hitavada - - NATION -

ALL eyes are on the Raj Bha­van that is to take a call on whether 17 Megha­laya leg­is­la­tors who quit as Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­taries after the High Court last week struck down a state law pro­vid­ing for such ap­point­ments can be dis­qual­i­fied as mem­bers of the State Assem­bly.

A Raj Bha­van of­fi­cial said that Gov­er­nor Ganga Prasad is wait­ing for the ref­er­ence of the State Gov­ern­ment and the Assem­bly Speaker on the court ver­dict on the ap­point­ment of Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­taries.

“The Gov­er­nor is yet to re­ceive a ref­er­ence from the Gov­ern­ment and Assem­bly Speaker on the court ver­dict.

“Once we re­ceive the com­mu­ni­ca­tion­from them, the Gov­er­nor’ s of­fice will seek the sug­ges­tion of the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion on the mat­ter,” a Raj Bha­van of­fi­cial told IANS on Tues­day.

On Novem­ber 9, the Megha­laya High Court had held in­valid the state law pro­vid­ing for ap­point­ment of Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­taries, but left it to the Gov­er­nor to de­ter­mine if those who held the post should be dis­qual­i­fied from the Assem­bly.

The ver­dict by a divi­sion bench of Chief Jus­tice Dine sh Ma heshw ari and Jus­tice V ed Pr aka sh Va i sh came on a PIL filed by state res­i­dent Madal Sumer, chal­leng­ing the “ex­tra con­sti­tu­tional and il­le­gal” ap­point­ment of Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­taries in the State.

Ac­cord­ing to Ar­ti­cle 192 of the Con­sti­tu­tion, if any ques­tion arises as to whether a mem­ber of a House of the Leg­is­la­ture of a State has be­come sub­ject to any of the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions men­tioned in clause (1) of Ar­ti­cle 191, the ques­tion will be re­ferred for the de­ci­sion of the Gov­er­nor and his de­ci­sion shall be fi­nal.

Leav­ing it open to the Gov­er­nor to de­cide on the is­sue of dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­taries as Assem­bly mem­bers, the bench had noted: “It is hardly a mat­ter of any doubt that when a ques­tion arises as to whether a mem­ber of a House of the Leg­is­la­ture of the State has be­come sub­ject to any of dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions men­tioned in Ar­ti­cle 191(1), the ques­tion has to be re­ferred for the de­ci­sion of Gov­er­nor; and the de­ci­sion of the Gov­er­nor in this re­gard, on the ba­sis of the opin­ion of Elec­tion Com­mis­sion, is fi­nal.”

How­ever, 10 of the 17 leg­is­la­tors who quit as Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­taries fol­low­ing the High Court ver­dict have said there is no ground for their dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion as mem­bers of the Assem­bly.

Su­jit Dey, coun­sel for the 10 leg­is­la­tors, said that the is­sue of dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion be­comes “in­fruc­tu­ous” since the post of Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary it­self has ceased to ex­ist, and out of re­spect for the court ver­dict, all Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­taries had im­me­di­ately re­signed.

Hours after the Novem­ber 9 ver­dict, 17 Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­taries quit their post. CM Mu ku lS an gm a, who ac­cepted their res­ig­na­tion, de­fended their ap­point­ment and the law.

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