Developed By: iNFOTYKE
SHILLONG: Even before the District Council elections held in February 2014, the then Meghalaya Governor KK Paul had written to the Chief Minister Mukul Sangma to examine the issue of dual post and take a decision before the polls to KHADC and JHADC.
The direction of Paul to the Chief Minister had come much before the CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing filed a PIL in the High Court on the same issue. The PIL was filed in October, 2014.
Sources said that if the Chief Minister and his government had taken a decision then, the current situation of legislators facing sudden embarrassment and quitting the posts of MDCs would have been avoided.
The affected legislators had in fact questioned the timing of the Bill barring MLAs from holding the post of MDCs before it was passed by the Assembly on September 24.
In the letter addressed to the Chief Minister on January 28, 2014, the then Governor Paul said”, a peculiar situation has come to my notice where I find that some of the elected members of Meghalaya legislative Assembly have simultaneously retained their elected seats in the Autonomous District Councils”.
According to Paul, not only this, some of these MLAs appear to be also occupying offices on the executive as well as legislative side. “This situation raises some vital legal as well as constitutional issues. For instance, an MLA is attending the Autonomous District Council meeting where he is bound by the discipline and rules of that House. Does it amount to a breach of privilege of the Legislative Assembly? How can we justify a person holding simultaneously two offices ( of profit)?” the then Governor asked.
The letter of Paul further said that the Constitution of India has reference to prohibition of simultaneous membership rules 1950 under which member of Legislative Assembly, Members of Parliament of both Houses are specifically mentioned .
“While there are numerous other elected bodies, they are not mentioned by name, specifically, but I think, the applied principle should be the same for all elected bodies unless a special dispensation is made”, the Governor said.
While referring to the 2014 District Council polls, the then Governor further wanted the Chief Minister to have this examined at the earliest and keep him informed “as fresh elections to the district councils are in the offing”