Before taking his seat in the House, every Member is required under Article 188 of the Constitution of India, to make and subscribe before the Governor, or some person appointed in that behalf by him an oath or affirmation and sign in the presence of the Secretary the Roll of members maintained for the purpose. If a person sits or votes as a member of the Legislative Assembly without taking the oath or making the affirmation or when he knows that he is not qualified or that he is disqualified for membership thereof, or that he is prohibited from so doing by the provisions of any law made by Parliament or the Legislature of the State, he shall be liable in respect of each day on which he sits or votes to a penalty of five hundred rupees to be recovered as a debt to the State.
The practice is that first sitting after every general election is ordinarily devoted to oath-taking by Members. The Governor administers the oath to a member and appoints him for administering the oath to the others. If a Member is not able to make and subscribe the oath or affirmation at the commencement of the sitting of the House, he may do so at any convenient time during the sitting of the House as the Speaker may direct. The oath or affirmation is made by a Member in the following form:-
“I, A.B. having been elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly, do swear in the name of God/Solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India and that I will faithfully discharge the duty upon which I am about to enter.”
A Member should, when he comes to make the oath or affirmation, bring with him the certificate of election granted to him by the Returning Officer under rule 66 of the conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 and contact the Secretary, Vidhan Sabha at least one hour before the commencement of the sitting and indicate the language in which he wishes to make the oath or affirmation so that arrangement could be made accordingly.
In the House, on the name of a Member being called by the Chair, the Member has to proceed from the place he is occupying to the right hand side of the Secretary’s Table. A copy of the form of oath or affirmation, as the case may be, in the language in which the Member desires to make the oath/ affirmation is then handed over to him. The Member faces the Chair while making and subscribing the oath/affirmation and then shakes hands with or wishes the Chair. The Member then passes behind the Chair to the other side of the Secretary’s Table where he subscribes the oath or affirmation and signs the Roll of Members. After signing the Roll, he takes his seat in the House.