Shillong Mar20:The Meghalaya Assembly today summoned and reprimanded a government officer Zenithsky J Sangma at the bar of the House after having found guilty of the charge of committing breach of privilege of Independent legislator, John Leslee K. Sangma.
This will be the second time that the State assembly has summoned and reprimanded a person to appear before the members of the House for breach of privilege.Prof Kapila Chatterjee, an editor of Young-India, an English Weekly, appeared before the Bar of the House on April 4, 1973 for publishing a libelous news-item under the caption “The bark of ignorant mischievous politicians,” and an equally defamatory editorial with the heading “Privileges of Legislators and Assemblies”.
Mr Zenithsky, the Chief Executive Officer of Tura Municipal Board was summoned and reprimanded after a report of the Assembly’s privileges committee presented by its chairman and Independent MLA, Saleng A. Sangma, found that the officer, was guilty of the charge of committing breach of privilege of the member, John Leslee K. Sangma and the House.
Soon after the House adopted the privileges committee report, Speaker, Abu Taher Mondal announced that a warrant shall be issued with a direction to the concern departments to serve a warrant and bring the officer (Zenithsky) to the House on March 23.”I have carefully perused the report of the privileges committee presented in the House March 16. I have found that the committee after strenuous exercise and deliberation, has come to an irresistible conclusion that Zenithsky is guilty of the charge of committing breach of privilege of the member (John Leslee) and the House,” Mr Mondal said.
The Speaker said that the officer shall be summoned and reprimanded at the bar of the House under rule 171 and rule 172 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
In its report, the Committee recommended that Mr Zenithsky should be summoned and reprimanded, besides tendering his apology in the House failing which, strong disciplinary action should be taken including termination of service.The privileges committee had nine sittings where members of the committee deliberated on the three complaints submitted by the opposition legislator, Mr John Leslee against Mr Zenithsky’s action for breach of privilege of the elected representative.
The committee found that the officer had filed FIRs against the Independent legislator accusing him of instigating vegetable vendors of Tura Ringrey Market, and the officer has also addressed the MLA by using the word as “one person.””The filing of concocted FIRs against the MLA (John) and summoning him to appear before police station Tura without proper justification is a serious breach of privilege of the member,” the report stated.
Moreover, the report said that the committee was neither satisfied nor convinced with the clarifications submitted by Mr Zenithsky.”The punishment to be meted out to him (Zenithsky) should also serve as a deterrent to other erring officials while discharging their duties,” the privileges committee recommended