TODAY -

1st session of 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly

Prof (Dr) Nimai Chand Luwang *

 Manipur Legislative Assembly Building at Chingmeirong, Imphal :: June 2017
Manipur Legislative Assembly Building at Chingmeirong in June 2017 :: Pix - Bullu Raj



The election to the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly was held in two phases on 25th February and 5th March 2022. Counting of votes took place on 10th March and the results of all 60 Assembly segments were declared the same day. The Governor, Shri La Ganesan, dissolved the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly on 11th March and constituted the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly on 12th March 2022.

Subsequent to a general election, a few preliminary steps are necessary before the Governor addresses the newly elected members of the House. Members have to make and subscribe an oath of affirmation, after which they take their seats in the House. Thereafter, the House elects the Speaker.

Thus, following the general election, the first session commences when the elected members gather in the Assembly Hall for the first time with the Protem Speaker in the Chair. In order to complete the formalities, after the general election, the Speaker protem is appointed to administer oath/affirmation to the newly elected members and conduct the election of the Speaker.

The Governor, Shri La. Ganesan, appointed Shri S Rajen Singh, MLA elect as the Speaker pro tem on 13th March 2022 and administered the oath of office and secrecy. The Speaker pro tem performs the duties of the Speaker till a Speaker of the House is elected.

The oath/affirmation ceremony of the newly elected members of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly took place at 11 am on Monday, 14th March 2022 at the Assembly Hall, Imphal with Shri S. Rajen Singh, Speaker pro tem in the Chair.

The House assembled at 9 am on Thursday, 24th March, 2022 in the Assembly hall to transact the business of the election of the Speaker. MLA Shri Th. Satyabrata Singh was elected the Speaker of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly.

The Governor of Manipur Shri La. Ganesan, through a notification dated the 22nd March 2022, summoned the first session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly to meet at 10:00 hours on Thursday, 24th March 2022.

The main proceedings of the House on the first day, i.e. 24/03/ 2022 were as follows:
(i) Governor’s address,
(ii) Presentation of Demands for Supplementary grants 2021-22,
(iii) Presentation of Budget Estimates, 2022-23 and
(iv) Motion for Vote on Account, 2022-23.

On the second day i.e. 25/03/2022, the House took up (i) GENERAL DISCUSSION ON DEMANDS FOR SUPPLEMENTARY GRANTS AND VOTING ON SUPPLEMENTARY DEMANDS FOR GRANTS: 2021-22.

All the Supplementary Demands were passed by the House unanimously.(ii) DISCUSSION AND VOTING ON MOTION FOR VOTE ON ACCOUNT 2022 and the Vote on Account, 2022 was passed by the House. Additionally, the following bills were introduced: The Manipur Appropriation (No. 1) Bill, 2022 and The Manipur Appropriation (No. 2) Bill, 2022.

The House assembled for the third day at 11:00 am on Saturday, 26th March 2022 with the Speaker Shri Th. Satyabrata Singh in the chair. The main business of the third sitting was the consideration and passing of the following appropriation bills: (i) the Manipur Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 2022 and (ii) the Manipur Appropriation (No.2) Bill, 2022. Both the Bills were passed unanimously by the House. The Speaker Shri Th. Satyabrata Singh adjourned the House sine-die at 11:43 am on 26th March 2022.

According to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Manipur Legislative Assembly Rule 4. (1) The Assembly shall be summoned by the Governor from time to time to meet at such time and place as he may appoint, Rule 4.(2)

The Secretary shall issue summons to each member specifying the date and place for a session of the House [at least 15 clear days] before the date so appointed; Rule 18. (1) Sittings of the House shall, subject to the direction of the Speaker, ordinarily take place from 11.00 hours to 17.00 hours with a break from 13.00 hours to 14.00 hours ; Rule 34.

The last two and a half hours of every Friday shall be allotted for the transaction of Private Members’ Business and shall have precedence over official business unless the Speaker otherwise directs; Rule 44. Unless the Speaker otherwise directs, the first hour of every sitting shall be allocated for the asking and answering of questions (Question Hour); Motion After Introduction of Bills and Scope of Debate: Rule 153.

When a Bill is introduced, the member in-charge may make one of the following motions in regard to his Bill, namely:-
(i) that it be taken into consideration, or
(ii) that it be referred to a select committee or
(iii) that it be circulated for the purpose of eliciting opinion thereon: Provided that no such motion shall be made until copies of the Bill have been made available for the use of members and that any member may object to any such motion being made unless copies of the Bill have been so made available for [ two clear days ] before the day on which the motion is made and such objection shall prevail unless the Speaker allows the motion to be made.

The recently concluded first session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly was summoned to meet at 10:00 am on 24th March 2022 through a notification dated the 22nd March 2022. Clearly, the provision for notice of 15 clear days was not observed. The House met at 09:00 am on the 24th, 09:00 am on the 25th and at 11:00 am on 26th March 2022. Thus, the meeting hours for the three days have been observed to be inconsistent.

The Business Advisory Committee allotted 3 hours and 40 minutes for the sitting on the 24th and 3 hours each for the sittings on 25th and 26th March. However, as per the provisions of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, the time allocated for each sitting is 5 hours. The first hour of each sitting (day) should be allotted for Question Hour, however, there was no Question Hour allotted on any sitting.

The last two and a half hours of the Friday should be allotted for Private Members’ Business, which did not take place. Two Government Bills, namely, (i) the Manipur Appropriation (No.1) Bill,2022 and (ii) the Manipur Appropriation (No.2) Bill,2022 were introduced on 25th March 2022 and the same two Bills were taken into consideration and passed on 26th March 2022.

Whereas, Rule 153 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Manipur Legislative Assembly provides that “Provided that no such motion shall be made until after copies of the Bill have been made available for the use of members and that any member may object to any such motion being made unless copies of the Bill have been so made available for [two clear days] before the day on which the motion is made….” The said provision was disregarded while taking up the Bills for consideration and passing.

Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh presented
(i) Demands for Supplementary Grants, 2021-22
(ii) Budget Estimates, 2022-23 and
(iii) moved the motion for Vote on Account, 2022- 23 on 24th March 2022.

While presenting the above motions, the Chief Minister did not give any speech nor statement. In this regard, I would like to mention that I have never come across any such instance in my experience as a member of the House during the period 1985 till 2007.

The House took up the Agenda for transaction of the General Discussion on Supplementary Demands for Grants and Discussion and Voting on Supplementary Demands for Grants 2021-22 on 25th March 2022.

Seven members, namely, Shri L. M. Khaute, Shri K. Ranjit Singh, Shri Kh. Joykisan Singh, Shri Surjakumar Okram, Shri Th. Arunkumar, Md. Abdul Nasir and Shri Th. Lokeshwar Singh participated in the discussion. Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri N. Biren Singh gave a statement and made clarifications on the various issues raised by the Hon’ble members.

The Supplementary Demands were passed by the House unanimously. Discussion and Voting on Motion for Vote on Account, 2022 was taken up by the House on 25th March 2022.

The House passed the motion sans debate and discussion. Even the Minister in charge moving the motion did not utter a single word on the statement of objects and reasons for moving the motion. Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh moved for Consideration and passing of
(i) the Manipur Appropriation (No.1) Bill, 2022 and
(ii) the Manipur Appropriation (No.2) Bill, 2022 on 26th March, 2022 and the Bills were passed by the House unanimously without having any debate and discussion.

Even the Chief Minister while moving the motion did not explain anything about the Bills including the statement of objects and reasons. Furthermore, under normal conditions, a minimum of five hours is allotted for sitting as per the Rule.

The Business Advisory Committee allotted a total of 9 hours and 40 minutes sitting during the first session: 3 hours and 40 minutes for the sitting on 24th March; 3 hours for 25th March and 3 hours for the sitting on 26th March. However, the House utilized a total of 4 hours and 16 minutes: 2 hours and 08 minutes on 24/03/2022; 1 hour 25 minutes on 25/03/2022 and 43 minutes on 26/03/2022.

With the utilization of only 44.1% of the total allotted time for sitting, there has been a clear underutilization of time.

Disclaimer: The article has been written based on my personal experience. I did not mean to cast aspersions, criticize nor undermine the functioning of the August House as well as that of its Hon’ble Members. It is solely intended for bringing improvement in the efficiency and functioning of the House in the light of public interest.


* Prof (Dr) Nimai Chand Luwang wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is former member of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Manipur Legislative Assembly and four times Minister of Manipur
This article was webcasted on August 11 2022 .



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