Youth wing of Mizoram Congress on Tuesday filed a complaint with governor PS Sreedharan Pillai against three ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) legislators and one independent MLA for allegedly holding “office of profit,” a Congress leader said.
Congress youth president Lalmalsawma Nghaka said that a petition seeking legal action against three MNF MLAs–F Lalnunmawia, L Thangmawia, Vanlaltanpuia and an independent MLA Vanlalthlana– was submitted to the governor for simultaneously drawing salary from a University and enjoying facilities as legislators, which is a clear case of “office of profit” and violation of article 102 (1) (a) and 191 (1) (a) of the Indian constitution.
While Lalnunmawia works as a professor in the botany department of Mizo University (MZU), the remaining three MLAs are regular faculties of Pachhunga University College (PUC) in Aizawl, which is affiliated to MZU, he said.
Quoting the existing regulations of MZU, Lalmalsawma said the University gives civic right to the teaching staff to contest assembly or Lok Sabha elections provided and if elected they are allowed to take Extra Ordinary Leave (EOL)for maximum of 10 years.
If the University teachers when elected do not take leave, they must continue with their regular teaching profession and research work but with 50 per cent reduction in their workload to enable them to perform legislative works, he said.
The regulation also allowed them to make an option whether or not to draw a salary from the university or state legislature after being elected to the house.
Lalmalsawma alleged that the four legislators did not take leave and have opted to draw a regular salary from the university but at the same time enjoy certain facilities like water bill, electricity bill and telephone bill among others, as legislators, which is a clear case of holding “office of profit.”
He further alleged that three of the four MLAs were appointed as vice-chairmen of the various implementing board under the state’s flagship programme- Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP) and were given the rank of Minister of State (MoS), which contravenes article 164 (1A) of the constitution.
Article 164 (1A) of the constitution states that the total number of ministers, including the chief minister, in the Council of Ministers in a state should not exceed fifteen per cent of the total number of members of the state legislature, provided that the number of ministers, including the chief minister in a state should not be less than twelve.
Lalmalsawma said that all the MLAs have separate offices, office staff and are provided with 2 vehicles each.
They also enjoyed Travelling Allowance or Dearness Allowances as Minister of State, he said.
In the last assembly polls held in 2018, Prof. F. Lalnunmawia was elected from the Aizawl South-III assembly constituency, L. Thangmawia from the Lengteng constituency, Vanlaltanpuia from Lunglei North constituency and Vanlalthlana backed by Zoram People’s Movement (ZMP) was elected from Aizawl North-II assembly constituency.
The Congress youth wing asked the governor to look into the matter and take necessary action against the four legislators.