Puducherry

Panel to frame rules for nomination of MLAs

In the absence of rules, the nomination of MLAs has generated controversy.

In the absence of rules, the nomination of MLAs has generated controversy.  

The rules are likely to be adopted in the budget session as there is growing perception that outsiders could be selected

Even as the ruling Congress is fighting a legal battle with the Centre on the nomination of three BJP leaders as MLAs, the Legislative Assembly has set in motion the process to frame rules to remove the grey areas in the appointment of non-elected members.

The Rules Committee, which met recently under the Chairmanship of Speaker V. Vaithilingam, has decided to frame rules and send it to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for its consideration while nominating MLAs.

According to a top source, there was no broad criterea for the nomination of MLAs. The Government of Union Territories Act,1963, specifies that “the Central Government may nominate not more than three persons in the service of the government, to be members of the Legislative Assembly.”

“The committee had sought the expertise of the Law Secretary and the government pleader in the High Court to frame the rules,” the source said.

In the past, the nominated members were selected from outside the political class. The appointment of nominated members who would join the 30-member House started in 1985 with the selection of a retired professor, a freedom fighter and a lawyer.

Norms ignored

When the new government was formed in 1990, it moved away from the practice and appointed three politicians and the trend has continued with even conventional norms over the selection being ignored of late, the source said.

If there were no guidelines or rules, even people from outside the Union Territory could be appointed in future. “The rules will serve as a broad guideline for selecting the persons, powers of the legislators and privileges that should be provided. It’s like we frame recruitment rules for the Union Public Service Commission for selection of government staff. The Ministry of Home Affairs could take the rules as a yardstick for appointment of nominated MLAs in future,” the source said.

The rules would be framed and passed in the budget session of the Assembly, the source added.

In the absence of a broad framework on nominated MLAs, the appointment of members has always generated controversy, especially on the few occasions that different political parties ruled at the Centre and the Union Territory.

The nomination of three BJP candidates as MLAs by the Ministry of Home Affairs last year is being resisted tooth and nail by the Congress-led government. The Speaker has so far refused to recognise the nomination and extend salary, perks and other privileges to the three members.

The matter is now pending before the Madras High Court.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 6:20:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/panel-to-frame-rules-for-nomination-of-mlas/article22399310.ece

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