Goa 2017

Is Goa’s one-day Assembly session constitutionally valid?

A view of the Goa Assembly.

A view of the Goa Assembly.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

While the Opposition in Goa has been vocal about the government’s decision to hold a one-day Assembly session on Tuesday, the reasons behind this are compelled by the Constitution.

Article 174 of the Constitution of India states:

“The Governor shall from time to time summon the House or each House of the Legislature of the State to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session.”

While the Governor can prorogue the House from time to time, if six months passes between two Assembly sessions, it is then assumed that the state Assembly has lapsed. The Constitution, though, does not specify how long a session must be, so a one-day session is enough to fulfil this criterion.

This six-month period ends on March 3, prompting the Governor to convene the House. Leader of Opposition and Congress MLA Pratapsing Rane has said that this has happened for the first time in the country’s history after polling.

If six months passes between two Assembly sessions, it is then assumed that the state Assembly has lapsed.

Earlier this month, Goa Congress president Luizinho Faleiro submitted a representation to the Governor asking her to avert a constitutional crisis and convene an Assembly session before March 3.

The Election Commission’s model code of conduct, meanwhile, does not have any explicit rules about convening Assembly sessions. The code of conduct does specify what the ruling party can do as far as electioneering work, usage of government transport, finances, and the usage of public office to make announcements on financial grants or schemes.

While Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had earlier ruled out the need for such a session, the decision to convene a session clearly arises out of a need to not let the Assembly lapse.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 12:12:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/goa-2017/Is-one-day-Assembly-session-in-Goa-constitutionally-valid/article17381688.ece

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