GUWAHATI, Sept 11 - State Additional Advocate General Devajit Lon Saikia, who was barred from entering the State Assembly for taking selfies in the Speaker�s gallery of the House, had submitted contradictory statements during inquiry into the case.
�I have perused the form filled up by Devajit Lon Saikia for obtaining gallery pass. Saikia has filled up the form as Additional Advocate General, which is contrary to the reply filed by him saying that he had applied for pass as a common person,� Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami said in the House today.
The Speaker had barred Saikia from entering the House for two weeks on February 13 this year for clicking and uploading selfies on Facebook, during the Budget Session, after receiving a complaint from AIUDF MLAs.
Goswami had then forwarded the matter to the Privilege Committee, which sought a reply from Saikia during the course of examination of the issue.
Reading out his ruling in the House today, Goswami said that Saikia has, however, not violated the restrictions of the House intentionally or knowingly.
�I have perused the gallery passes and found that the passes do not include restrictions on electronic gadgets. Neither the restrictions were displayed in the entrance of the gallery. Therefore, the person entering the Speaker�s gallery is not expected to know the restrictions in question as there was a lacuna in the system, which has been rectified as per my direction dated February 24, 2017,� he said.
The Speaker added, �Saikia has not intentionally or knowingly violated the privilege of the House. The complainants� prayer for treating Saikia�s conduct at par with Aminul Islam, who was suspended for three days from attending the House for uploading his speech in the �Facebook Live�, cannot be equated with the conduct of Saikia as Islam is an MLA and there is specific bar for MLAs not to use electronic gadgets, which were not applicable to non-MLAs until my decision dated February 24, 2017. The restrictions imposed on Saikia for not attending House by my order dated February 13, 2017, stands withdrawn.� He added that the matter is now closed.
Saikia, in his written submission to the Privilege Committee, submitted that he was not aware of the restrictions prohibiting carrying of electronic gadgets, including mobile phones in the gallery, as the restrictions mentioned in the passes do not include restrictions on electronic gadget.
�He also submitted that he has visited the Assam Legislative Assembly for the first time and to keep the memories alive the pictures were clicked without there being an iota of malice, ill motive or disregard to the majesty of the House,� said the Speaker.
According to Goswami, Saikia had also submitted that he had not done it knowingly and intentionally; as such, if the act of taking the picture of the House and uploading it in Facebook hurt the sentiments of the members of the House, then he was sorry about that and prayed for dropping of the proceedings against him. �He further mentioned that he has respect for the Chair of the House and as such the direction of the Chair not to attend the Assembly has been strictly complied with,� the Speaker said.