Kamalanaga, July 4, 2017: Invoking para 16(2) and para 20BB of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India the Governor finally assumed the power and functions of CADC by an order issued dated 4th July, 2017 while at the same time instructed the Deputy Commissioner, Lawngtlai District, who will act on his behalf, to ensure a free and fair floor test of the Chakma Autonomous District Council within a week.
The Governor taking the option for a floor test may have relevance to the Supreme Court recent ruling for floor test in the cases of states being imposed with President’s Rule to ensure that the Centre does not misuse its power.
Rule 33(6) of CADC CCB Rule empowers the Governor to summon a session at any time in the public interest.
The Governor’s order also instructed the Chairman of CADC to take immediate action as per provisions of Rule 22 and 25 of CADC (Constitution, Conduct of Business, etc.) Rules, 2002.
Rule 25 provides for removal of the Executive Committee on a vote of no confidence motion passed by majority Members of the District Council in a session specially convened for the purpose under Rule 84.
Rule 84 requires submission of a written notice of the motion to the Secretary before commencement of the sitting. The Chairman on receipt of the notice reads out the motion and seek the intention of any members who desires for a leave. Unless one-fourth or more of the Members present express desire for grant of leave, the Chairman can take up the motion for voting. In the event, where minimum of one-fourth of the Members present desire for leave the Chairman informs that the motion will be taken in not less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours, though he can relax the Rule and take the motion earlier than 24 hours if exigencies of business require.
The motion can either dissolve the Executive Committee or repose confidence in it. What happens if the motion prevails?
The Chairman under Rule 25 submits a report on the proceedings of the sitting to the Governor through the Secretary of State Government and based on the report the governor appoints the CEM in consonance with Rule 22.
Rule 22 has it that the leader of the largest legislature party having majority of elected members in the District Council gets appointed as CEM by the Governor. This entails that the largest legislature party, in this case the Congress Party, choose its leader who then stake claim to the office of CEM before the Governor.
What alternative option did the Governor had if he had not preferred for a floor test and for that matter, options available even after the floor test?
Para 14 of the Sixth Schedule allows him to set up a Commission to enquire into the various allegations made by the opposition parties and NGOs in the memorandum submitted to him against the current Executive Committee and finally take actions based on the report of the Commission to the extent of dissolving the current District Council and ordering for fresh general election under para 16(1) of the Sixth Schedule.