Women’s panel takes exception to Paul Lyngdoh’s stand on chairperson

Shillong, June 14: The Meghalaya State Commission for Women has taken exception to the statement made by Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh that the chairperson Phidalia Toi was removed from the post and that she did not attend the Board meetings.
The commission held an emergency meeting on June 13 at its office, where all members present expressed their shock over the news reports regarding the removal of the Chairperson of the Commission by Social Welfare Minister.
“The removal announced during a press
conference is ultra vires and done in contravention of the tenets of the law, namely, The Meghalaya State Commission for Women Act 2005. Furthermore, Minister had received inaccurate information and stated the Chairperson had been absent from 3 out of 4 meetings of the Commission. As a matter of fact, all the board meetings of the MSCW have been chaired by the Chairperson.The relevant minutes of the meetings and all records
thereof are documented and filed in the office of the Commission”, the commission said.
Chapter II Section 4 (3) of the Meghalaya State Commission for Women Act 2005 states “….no person shall be removed under this sub-section until that person has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in the matter.”
The commission pointed out that the
the Chairperson found out about her removal from the chair via the news reports circulated on social media.
“She was never given notice of the charges made against her or an opportunity to be heard, as mandated by the law.
“It is incumbent of the minister to check the relevant records available at the office of the commission before stating incorrect facts publicly questioning the credibility of the chairperson and the office”, the commission said.
Two letters sent for meeting 
What grieves the commission is that the chairperson, vice-chairperson and members of the commission had sent letters to the  minister twice- one on April 20 and another on May 29 requesting to meet him
in order to discuss matters of the office. “However, the office of the minister did not
accept the request for a meeting.
The office of the commission, being an important constitutional body to look into matters of women’s rights and uplift the society, as stated by the minister himself, is shocked that women are being removed from official duties in a whimsical manner with no regard to the rule of law.
“If this is the plight of  a woman chairperson, we cannot imagine what the hardworking women workforce of the state must be facing on a daily basis. For this and many gender biases that women face, our women’s workforce rate remains dismal in the state and country”, the commission said.

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