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Error forces oath re-take in council

Shillong, March 4: The legislative wing of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) today committed an unprecedented error when newly elected members were made to take oath as nominated instead of elected representatives. This led the East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner Sanjay Goyal to apologise and call the members to reassemble in the House for another round of oath-taking.

Before calling members to re-take the oath, the deputy commissioner termed it a “serious mistake.”

The mistake in the oath-taking script was realised by Goyal only after journalists raised a question before him and officials of the KHADC after the members had assembled for a group photo session on the premises of the council.

At the beginning of the first ceremony, the apparent error was realised by some members, with some choosing not to say the word “nominated” but on their own uttered “elected” as they took the oath.

As many members hesitated to point out the mistake, the deputy commissioner went ahead with the procedure.

However, three members — Pyniaid Sing Syiem (Sohryngkham constituency), Process T. Sawkmie (Mawlai constituency) and K.P. Pangniang (Rambrai constituency) — took the oath as “elected” though the word “nominated” was mentioned in the oath-taking script.

Syiem, a new entrant to the council, earned appreciation from his colleagues present in the House and the audience who came to witness the swearing-in ceremony, for taking the oath in Khasi.

Other members, however, took oath in English as written in the script and swore their allegiance to the Constitution.

In the second round of oath-taking, all members uttered the word “elected” instead of “nominated”.

Syiem, Sawkmie and Pangniang did not read the oath again, but signed on the corrected script.

The council has a strength of 30 members, including one nominated member. There are three women in the council.

Of the 29 members, only Sanbor Shullai, who is ailing, could not attend the ceremony.

Shullai, also the Meghalaya Assembly deputy Speaker, will take oath later.

Earlier, before administering the oath to the newly elected members of the council, Goyal called the House to order and read an official notification approved by governor K.K. Paul for re-constitution of the council.

In the Jaińtia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC), all the elected members, including a woman, also took oath today in the council hall in Jowai, about 65km from Shillong.

The oath was administered by West Jaińtia Hills deputy commissioner Peter S. Dkhar.

The election to the post of chairman in both the councils will be held on Thursday at 11am.