SHILLONG, Nov 4 � Admitting a PIL by an NGO seeking disqualification of eight legislators who holds dual posts, a division bench of the Meghalaya High Court today asked the Meghalaya government to file its affidavit.
The PIL was filed by Agnes Kharshiing, president of Civil Society Women�s Organization (CSWO) and Chief Justice UN Singh and Justice SR Sen asked the State government to file its affidavit.
The eight legislators in question are Meghalaya Deputy Speaker Sanbor Shullai, Transport Minister HDR Lyngdoh, Nongkrem constituency MLA Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, Independent MLA Stephanson Mukhim, Mawsynram MLA Pynshngainlang N Syiem, HSPDP MLA Phlastingwell Pangniang and UDP MLA Brolding Nongsiej. All these legislators are also members of the Autonomous District Council (seven in the Khasi Hills and one in Jaintia Hills,) which the petitioner has argued is a violation of rules. Kharshiing has cited in her PIL Rule 17 (1) (a) of the Assam (and Meghalaya) Autonomous Districts (Constitution of District Councils) Rules, 1951.
Under the Rule, �a person shall be disqualified for being elected as, and for being member of the District Council, if he is a salaried servant of the Government of India or government of any State specified in the First Schedule to the Constitution or is an employee of (any) District Council or of (any) Regional Council.�
She argued that since the legislators are Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and also members of district council, they have violated the specified provision under Rule 17 (1) (a) and hence they are liable to be disqualified.
Meanwhile, the court has also asked the petitioner to provide a copy of the PIL to all the respondents, including the MLAs against whom the PIL has been filed. The court would be sitting for its next hearing after two weeks.