“The call is of the Delhi Cabinet; to be further notified by the L-G”
The Delhi Government and the Lieutenant-Governor can decide when and where to hold the Assembly session, Assembly Secretary P. N. Mishra said on Wednesday.
The clarification comes amid an ongoing debate whether or not the Aam Aadmi Party Government can convene a special session of the Delhi Assembly at Ramlila Maidan to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill.
“The call on convening an Assembly session is of the Delhi Cabinet. Their decision has to be further notified by the Lieutenant-Governor. Even deciding the location and timing of the session depends on the wisdom of the State government and the Lieutenant-Governor,” said Mr. Mishra.
He said: “Assembly sessions are held at different locations in other States.”
The Arvind Kejriwal Government is expected to hold the special session at Ramlila Maidan on February 10. The Assembly Secretary, however, said the session would have to be convened in an “insulated” manner.
“If the session is held in an open ground with a large crowd in attendance, the place where the meeting is held would have to be insulated. Only those visitors who are issued passes should be allowed to enter the enclosed area,” said Mr. Mishra.
While he supported his party’s stand to convene the session at Ramlila Maidan, Delhi Assembly Speaker M.S. Dhir said his role in convening a special session “begins only after the Lieutenant-Governor notifies it”.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Assembly Secretariat is holding a two-day orientation programme to equip legislators, especially first-time MLAs, with the basics of the Assembly’s functioning.
“Forty-five out of the 70 MLAs are first-timers. Most of them are not well-versed with the House procedures and the Rules of Business of the House. By attending the programme, the legislators would be able to familiarise themselves with procedures like raising questions, raising issues related to their constituency during the Zero Hour, among others,” said Mr. Dhir.
The programme would be inaugurated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who himself is a first-time MLA. The officials, however, said the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues are unlikely to attend the entire three-hour session as they would be busy with government-related work.
The sessions would be addressed by experts in parliamentary proceedings, including Joint Secretary in the Lok Sabha Secretariat Brahm Dutt and former Secretary of the Lok Sabha Secretariat S.K. Sharma.