'Reconvene Assembly to adopt Appropriation Bill by Jul 31'

By PTI Published on Jul 30, 2018 10:45 AM IST

Puducherry: Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi suggested that the Territorial Assembly be reconvened before 31 July and the crucial Appropriation Bill 2018 be adopted while honouring the Supreme Court order to allow three BJP members nominated to the House to function as MLAs.

On 19 July, the apex court, in its interim order, directed the Assembly speaker to allow the nominated members to function as MLAs till the adjudication of the petition filed before it.

The top court confirmed the 23 March Madras High Court order, upholding the nomination of three BJP functionaries to the Assembly by the Centre.

"If they (government) have to pass the Appropriation Bill by 31 July, they can convene the session even tomorrow and adopt the bill. They can send the Bill to me after passing it and honouring the SC judgement.

"There would then be no contempt committed by anyone. It is up to them," she told reporters here.

Bedi said assent would not be delayed by 'even a minute' after the Assembly honoured the apex court judgment, passed the Bill and sent it to her. She exuded confidence that the top court directive would be respected.

"Law makers must be the first to respect the law of the land," she said. The budget session of the territorial Assembly began on 2 July when Chief Minister V Narayansamy, who also holds the Finance portfolio, presented the Rs 7,530 crore budget for the fiscal 2018-19.

The House had sittings for 13 days but could not adopt the Appropriation Bill on July 19, the day it adjourned sine die as Lt Governor's approval to introduce the Bill was not available then.

The session was originally scheduled to continue till 27 July. The Lt Governor had approved passage of the Bill and sent it to the Assembly on 21 July with a rider that the nominated MLAs (V Saminathan, K G Shankar and S Selva Ganapathy) be allowed to attend the proceedings as per the SC order.

The Appropriation Bill is an important legislation and its adoption marks the passing of the budget for the fiscal 2018-19.

The disbursement of salaries to government staff and payment of pension to retired employees and other fiscal commitments of the government can be fulfilled only when the Bill earmarking the budget amount from the consolidated fund is passed. The Bill has to be adopted by 31 July.