Marcus Dam

No amendment is needed to it, says Chief Minister's Adviser

Assembly passed three Bills by voice vote on June 10 17 MLAs asked by Election Commission to file replies by June 23 on allegations of holding offices of profitSikkim Assembly has a sole Congress MLA in the Opposition.

Kolkata: Sikkim Governor V. Rama Rao has returned three bills related to office of profit passed by the House on June 10. The bills will be re-introduced in the Assembly for discussion and amendments, if any, on Monday after which they will be sent back to the Governor for assent. Speaker D. N. Takarpa, told The Hindu over telephone from Gangtok on Thursday that "17 out of the 32 MLAs in the State have been asked by the Election Commission to file their replies by June 23 on allegations of holding offices of profit in the wake of a petition to the Governor by some Opposition parties which, in turn, was referred to the Commission." As for the bills, Mr.Takarpa said "the Governor has made certain observations on them about which I have held discussions with the State's Advocate General and Parliamentary Minister."He said Chief Minister Pawan Chamling would be apprised of the matter later in the evening.

Bound to give assent

Adviser to the Chief Minister B. B. Goorong said the Bills need no amendment and are sound and fine as they stand. "Once the Bills are sent back to the Governor he is bound to give his assent to them under Article 200 of the Constitution. By returning the Bills to the Assembly the Governor is only replicating what the President did in the case of the Bill passed by the Lok Sabha." The Speaker said the three bills that had been passed by a voice vote seeking to give immunity to legislators from disqualification in view of the fact that some of them might be holding offices in the various State Government boards that have been set up in the course of the past few years. The bills are: The Sikkim State Legislators Appointment to Different Authorities Bill, 2006, The Sikkim State Public Services Bill, 2006 and The Sikkim Legislative Assembly Members [Removal of Disqualifications] Amendment Bill, 2006. While one was returned by the Governor on June 13 the other two were given back on Wednesday, he added.

The 32-member Sikkim Assembly has a sole Congress MLA in the Opposition.