Defying Governor, Bengal Assembly Speaker administers oath to two new MLAs

by IANS |

Kolkata, July 5 (IANS) West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Bandopadhyay, on Friday, administered the oath to the two newly elected Trinamool Congress MLAs -- Sayantika Banerjee from Baranagar and Reyat Hossain Sarkar from Bhagawangola -- despite Governor C.V. Ananda Bose authorising Deputy Speaker of the House, Dr Asish Banerjee to do the same.

On Thursday, a statement was issued by the office of the Governor informing that the deputy speaker had been nominated by him to administer the oath to the newly elected legislators.

However, Asish Banerjee on Monday told media persons that with the Speaker being present he would not administer the oath ceremony. He had stuck to his stand on Friday as well and finally, the Speaker of the House administered the oath at the beginning of the one-day special session of the Assembly on Friday.

After the oath ceremony was over, the Trinamool Congress legislators raised “Jai Bangla” slogans within the House.

Political observers feel that this will open another round of tussle between the Raj Bhavan and the ruling party considering that certain constitutional provisions give the Governor the final say as regards the oath of newly elected MLAs.

Legal experts say that Article 188 and Article 193 of the Constitution give the ultimate authority to the Governor on this count.

Article 188, which is about the oath or affirmation of the members of the Assembly or Legislative Council, clearly states, “Every member of the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council of a State shall, before taking his seat, make and subscribe before the Governor, or some person appointed in that behalf by him, an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.”

Article 193, which is in relation to the penalty for sitting and voting before taking an oath or affirmation under Article 188 or when not qualified or when disqualified, states, “If a person sits or votes as a member of the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council of a State before he has complied with the requirements of Article 188, or when he knows that he is not qualified or that he is disqualified for membership thereof, or that he is prohibited from so doing by the provisions of any law made by Parliament or the Legislature of the State, he shall be liable in respect of each day on which he so sits or votes to a penalty of five hundred rupees to be recovered as a debt due to the State."

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