JAMMU, June 28: Former minister and chairman of National Panthers Party (NPP), Harsh Dev Singh today said that the Members of a suspended Assembly are not entitled to powers and privileges which are otherwise available to members of a regular Legislative Assembly.
Talking to media-persons here today, Harsh Dev said suspension of Assembly legally implies an undetermined condition during which all its functions are kept in abeyance, in a state of temporary inaction. He further said that during the said period no powers could be exercised by the members of suspended Assembly. When the status of Assembly itself is undetermined and disputed, how could its members continue to exercise power and privileges of regular MLAs. He said the suspension is a temporary period during which the Governor has to decide whether to dissolve or to revive the Assembly. And till that decision is taken, no member can exercise the powers and functions of legislator or other allied functions of an MLA including operation of finances and CDF.
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Lambasting the Law Deptt for its flip flop over the issue of powers of suspended Assembly members and leaving the decision of use of CDF by them to the discretion of Governor, Singh said that deptt was legally obliged to State the exact legal position without any dilly dally. He said that allowing the MLAs to operate during suspension of Assembly in Governor rule was a contradiction in terms. Not only had the political Govt ceased to exist but the status of Assembly was controvertible and till final decision, it was legally untenable to allow its members to continue to function.
Referring further to the debate on use of CDF by members of suspended Assembly, Singh said that it would not only be legally erroneous but morally incorrect to allow them to operate finances during such period. He called upon the Governor and his advisors not to succumb to the political pressures of the politicians who were desperately exploring ways and means to use their accumulated CDF funds for vested interests despite having lost the power to do so.