Assam Additional Advocate General Devajit Lon Saikia, who was barred from entering the state Assembly for taking selfies inside the house, had submitted contradictory statements during investigation, Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami said on Monday. “I have perused the form filled up by Devajit Lon Saikia for obtaining gallery pass. He had filled up the form as Additional Advocate General, which is contrary to the reply filed by him saying that he had applied for pass as a common person,” Goswami said in the House.
The speaker had barred Saikia’s entry into the house on February 13 this year for two weeks after receiving a complaint from AIUDF MLA Hafiz Bashir Ahmed for clicking and uploading selfie in social media while the budget for 2017-18 was being presented by the state finance minister.
The speaker had then forwarded the matter to the Privilege Committee, which sought a reply from Saikia during the course of examination of the issue.
Reading out his ruling, Goswami said Saikia, however, did not violate the restrictions of the house intentionally or knowingly. “I have perused the gallery passes and found that the passes do not include restrictions on electronic gadgets. Nor were the restrictions displayed in the entrance of the gallery.
“Therefore, the persons entering the Speaker’s Gallery are not expected to know the restrictions in question as there was lacuna in the system,” the Speaker said.
These issues were rectified subsequently after a direction was issued on February 24 this year, he saidd. “The restrictions imposed on Saikia for not attending the House by my order dated February 13, 2017, stands withdrawn,” he said adding the matter was now closed.