Former J-K MLA moves SC against governor’s order dissolving assembly

A BJP member of the dissolved assembly moved the Supreme Court against governor Satya Pal Malik’s November 21 order, citing various grounds.

india Updated: Nov 30, 2018 14:38 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Jammu and Kashmir,Assembly,dissolution
Jammu, India - November 22, 2018: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik addresses a press conference at Governor House, in Jammu, on Thursday, November 22, 2018. (File Photo)(HT)

A BJP legislator on Thursday filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik’s November 21 order dissolving the assembly amid political drama as two sides staked claims to form a government.

Talking to Hindustan Times, Gagan Bhagat , who was elected from RS Pura constituency in Jammu district, said, “I filed the writ petition today challenging order of governor Satya Pal Malik wherein he dissolved the legislative assembly on various grounds. First of all, my voters elected me for a term of six years. The legislative assembly was kept in suspended animation for over five months since June 19 and the governor didn’t dissolve it.”

“But when two leaders (Mehbooba Mufti of PDP and Sajad Lone of People’s Conference) staked claimed for government formation, he dissolved it in a late night move,” he added.

Citing the governor’s reported remarks that he was under some pressure and had he listened to the BJP, he would have to install Sajad Lone as CM, he said, “If the governor is working under some sort of pressure, he can’t deliver and how can we expect justice from him. If he had taken the decision (of dissolving the assembly) under pressure then it was not in the interest of the people.”

On Monday at an event at ITM university in Gwalior, Malik had said that had he listened to Centre, then Lone would have been chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. However, on Tuesday evening, a Raj Bhavan spokesperson issued a clarification that Malik, while taking the decision to dissolve the assembly, acted in an ‘objective and impartial manner.’

Faulting the governor for not testing on the claims of the two groups (Mehbooba Mufti and Lone) on the floor of the house, Bhagat also said there were two-three other things that were not clear, such as the governor’s claims of horse-trading among MLAs and terror threats to them.

“He (Malik) should have brought the evidences and reasons with him in public domain. He should also reveal the names of the MLAs, who were facing threat to their lives. The governor also said that the NIA (National Investigation Agency) was threatening People’s Democratic Party MLAs. Everything should be brought in public domain. Democracy doesn’t work under intimidation,” he said.

Bhagat said that these were sufficient grounds for him to file the write, which has been admitted by the apex court and will be heard within three days, probably before Monday.

To another query, Bhagat, who was suspended from the party over an alleged extra-marital affair, said that he moved the apex court in the capacity of a member of the assembly and not as a BJP member.

“The political party (BJP) may have its own version but I say that the House should run because they ensure funds, which in turn see developmental works of the people,” he said.

The state came under Governor’s rule and the assembly was placed in suspended animation in June after the BJP pulled out of the coalition government with Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP.

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 23:51 IST