The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Arunachal Pradesh Governor to furnish his report that led to imposition of President’s rule in the state.
The Court also agreed to take up at 2 pm Congress’ petition against imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh which descended into a political crisis following revolt of 21 MLAs of the ruling party in November last year.
Filed by its Chief whip Rajesh Tacho, the Congress’ plea was mentioned for urgent hearing by senior advocates Fali S Nariman and Kapil Sibal before a bench headed by justice JS Khehar which said it will be heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench seized of petitions arising out of the political crisis in the northeastern state.
The bench asked the lawyer to remove the defects in the petition pointed to by the court’s registry at the earliest.
The petition challenged the governor’s report and the recommendation of the Union Cabinet for promulgation of President’s Rule in the state.
The five-judge bench is examining whether the Governor has discretionary powers to summon the assembly without the advice of the state cabinet. Governor JP Rajkhowa had taken such a decision precipitating the crisis that had virtually left the Nabam Tuki-led Congress government in minority.
Speaker Nabam Rebia, who was allegedly removed from the post by rebel MLAs of Congress and BJP legislators in an assembly session held at a community hall in Itanagar on December 16, has also filed a petition questioning the governor’s power to convene the assembly session without the aid and advice of the state cabinet. It was alleged that the Governor had advanced the assembly sitting from January 14 to December 16 without the advice of the council of ministers led by Tuki.
Congress has 47 MLAs in the 60-member House but 21 of them have revolted against the party. The 11 BJP MLAs have supported the Congress rebels in their attempt to topple Chief Minister Tuki. The Speaker had disqualified 14 of the rebel Congress MLAs.
The Governor had called assembly session on December 16 in which Deputy Speaker revoked disqualification of the 14 rebel Congress MLAs and removed Rebia from the post of Speaker in the meeting held at a community hall.
Various decisions of the Governor and the Deputy Speaker were challenged by Rebia in Gauhati High Court which passed an interim order keeping in abeyance these decisions till February one. All the issues are being taken up by the SC.
(With inputs from agencies)