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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

AAP petition to dissolve assembly to be heard by constitution bench

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 05, 2014
First Published: 10:01 IST(5/7/2014) | Last Updated: 10:06 IST(5/7/2014)

The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP's) petition seeking dissolution of the Delhi Assembly, currently under suspended animation, was on Friday referred to a Constitution Bench after the court of Chief Justice RM Lodha noted the matter required interpretation of constitutional provisions raised for the first time.

Fixing August 5 as the date to begin hearing, the bench of three judges, including Justices Madan B Lokur and Kurien Joseph, made it clear that the pendency of the matter would not be an impediment for the Lieutenant Governor to take an appropriate decision in the matter.

“Five months is a reasonably good time for the L-G to take a decision,” the bench said after additional solicitor general P Narasimhan argued that a few months had passed and the L-G should be given some more time to decide.

 Both the BJP and the Central government had opposed the maintainability of AAP’s petition, saying one cannot seek dissolution of an Assembly. The BJP had said it wasn’t averse to forming a government if called upon by the L-G.

Senior counsel Ashok Desai said: “We are willing to find out a solution if the L-G calls us.”

 There is a precedent of judicial review against dissolution but we are not asking for it, Narasimhan contended. He said a minority government, which brought about this stalemate, had no right to ask for a dissolution. He said the Constitution provided limitation for one year and the political executive should be given time to decide.

“The situation is still fluid. The governor is yet to be come to a decision. We would be virtually pre-empting him,” Narasimhan said, challenging the petition.

 Senior counsel Fali Nariman junked the BJP and the central government’s pleadings on the basis that the BJP was attempting to form a government by inducing defection. Nariman rejected the submission that a prayer for dissolution could not be a subject-matter before the court.


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