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Cong ask Meghalaya Governor to correct “constitutional infraction” of Speaker
Correspondent SHILLONG, MAR 16:
Published on 17 Mar. 2009 1:34 AM IST
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Congress on Monday asked Meghalaya Governor RS Mooshahary to take appropriate steps to correct the “constitutional infraction” of Speaker Bindo M Lanong to refer governor’s message to the advocate general. “The Speaker committed the highest constitutional infraction of referring the governor’s message, which is an exercise of unique constitutional prerogative, to the legal opinion of the advocate general,” Lapang told journalists here. Lapang, leader of the Congress Legislature Party, met and briefed the Mooshahary about the way the message of the governor under Article 175 (2) of the constitution was dealt with by the Speaker in the House, today. Under article 165 (2) of the constitution, he said that is only the governor that assigns work to the advocate general and any other authority can assign work with the prior sanction of the governor. “The advocate general is appointed and removed by the doctrine of pleasure by the governor under articles 165(1) and 165(3) of the constitution. Therefore, he (advocate general is a subordinate and inferior to the governor who is not competent or empowered to scrutinize the Governor's powers under article 175(2),” the former Chief Minister said. He added, the advocate general is empowered to tender opinion to the House if he is summoned to the House by a motion of the House, only on bills, resolutions, and other matters before the House and not on Governor's messages to the House which is a unique constitutional prerogative. Earlier in the day, Lanong the House of the message from the governor RS Mooshahary directing him, among other things, to video-tape the proceedings of the trust-vote and to sent the ballot papers relating to the trial of strength of the year old NCP-backed Meghalaya Progressive Alliance coalition government to him. Governor also directed the Speaker to ensure that status quo in regards to all the members’ rights of free speech and voting; and that there should be no other business during the trial of strength. In connection with the letter sent by the Governor, Lanong informed the House that he had sought the legal views of the Advocate General of Meghalaya, which would be made available to him, today. Chief Minister Donkupar Roy will face the trial of strength tomorrow following the withdrawal support of three legislators, including Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement legislator Paul Lyngdoh. Two Independent MLAs – Ismail R Marak and Limison D Sangma – who were parliamentary secretaries in the MPA, also withdrew their support. Though, Dr Adviser Pariong, one of the two Hills State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) quit his cabinet post. He, however, not as yet withdraw support to the ruling coalition government.

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