SHILLONG, Nov 09: All the 17 Parliamentary Secretaries in Meghalaya resigned from their respective posts on Thursday following a monumental High Court ruling which rendered the Meghalaya Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2005 as ‘Invalid’.
Thursday saw Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma flooded by a wave of resignation letters submitted by these Parliamentary Secretaries which include Coming One Ymbon, Samuel M Sangma, Limison D Sangma, Winnerson D Sangma, Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem, Cherak W Momin, Brigady Marak, Sengnam Marak, Rophul S Marak, Robinus Syngkon, Micheal T Sangma, Justine Dhkar,Ashahel D Shira, Stephanson Mukhim, Celestine Lyngdoh, Noverfield R Marak and Marthon Sangma.
The court however has left the matter relating to the question on disqualification of the MLAs holding the post of parliamentary secretaries ‘open’ for determination of the Governor, if raised in accordance with law.
Soon after the court pronounced its judgment, Dr. Sangma informed that the Parliamentary Secretaries have collectively decided to tender their resignations.
“Since the Act itself has been struck down and set aside, therefore irrespective of what the government decides, all my friends holding the post of Parliamentary Secretary have collectively decided to submit their resignation which I have accepted,” Dr. Sangma said at the sidelines of a cabinet meeting held here.
Dr. Sangma said that the state government will examine the ruling of the court and accordingly decide on the further course of action.
“We have to look at the operational part of the ruling of the high court based on which we will be able to tell what is the future course of action,” he said while stating that certified copy of the ruling will be made available to the government on Thursday itself.
Defending the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries by the government, Dr. Sangma said that the appointment was based on this Act, which was based on the constitutional provision, which allows state legislature to make laws wherein by that law members of the legislative assembly are prevented from disqualified for holding an office of profit.
“So this law has been enacted based on this mandate of the provisions of the constitution by which we can prevent the members of the august house from getting disqualified from holding an office of profit wherein law says such office will be deemed as not as office of profit,” he said.
“Now it is an issue whether the government will actually look at further to see whether this provision be still provided to the government because we have to look it from the perspective of the constitution whether the constitutional provision in the relevant article which provide state to make such laws can be deliberated upon before the court and therefore enable such law to operate in future that will examine,” he added.
On the court’s decision to leave it open to the Governor to decide on the issue of disqualification, the chief minister, he said, “The law preventing disqualification is the law we are talking about it is because of this law we are appointing Parliamentary Secretaries. If this law is not there you will not appoint. This law was also made because of the provision in the constitution which says the state legislature can make law to prevent members of the house from getting disqualified for holding an office which shall be through this law deems not an office of profit.”