Supreme Court on Wednesday sought to know from Arunachal Pradesh Governor that why the top court wasn’t apprised about the latest development in the crisis-ridden state. Holding a hearing on an urgent petition filed by Congress party against the imposition of Central rule in the state, the apex court also demanded the report of Arunachal Pradesh Governor that led to the imposition of President’s rule in the north-eastern state.
“Unless we get the grounds for recommending the President’s rule, we cannot proceed. If grounds are not same in the proclamation then it is totally a different ball game,” the bench, comprising Justice JS Khehar and justices Dipak Misra, MB Lokur, PC Ghose and NV Ramana, said during the hearing.
The bench was also of the view that no interim order can be obtained unless the parties see the grounds for proclamation for President’s rule.
Seeking replies from the Centre and Arunachal Pradesh Governor, Supreme Court posted the next hearing in the matter on February 1.
President Pranab Mukherjee had on Tuesday evening cleared Centre’s recommendation to impose the President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh. The cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Modi, had on Sunday recommended the President’s rule in the state citing “political instability”.
Hearing the plea filed by Congress party, which till a month ago ruled the state with 2/3rd majority, the five-judge constitutional bench demanded the report which led to the imposition of President’s rule in the hill state.
The court also asked ASG Satpal Jain, appearing for state Governor JP Rajkhowa to furnish all the documents and share it with the counsel of petitioners– Congress party and former Speaker of the state assembly Nabam Rebia. As the law officer sought to maintain secrecy of the report and the recommendation for the President”s rule, the bench said, “He will only mention the date of report recommending President’s rule to opposite parties during the course of the day”.
Significantly, the issue arising out of political crisis in Arunachal Pradesh, where the incumbent Congress-led government was voted out by opposition BJP and rebel Congress MLAs in a ‘special’ assembly in Itanagar last month, is still pending before the Supreme Court.
In a dramatic political development last month, 20 rebel MLAs of the ruling Congress party, along with 11 BJP MLAs and 2 independent MLAs removed Speaker Nabam Rebia in a make-shift “Assembly” premises in a community hall in Itanagar.
The Governor had called the Assembly session on December 16 in which Deputy Speaker revoked disqualification of 14 rebel Congress MLAs and removed Rebia from the post of Speaker. The total of 33 MLAs in the 60-member house then elected dissident Congress lawmaker Kalikho Pul as the new Chief Minister of the state.
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 1.
Earlier in the day, ahead of the hearing in apex court, former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki expressed confidence that he could prove his majority in the state Assembly.
“Of course, we can prove our majority in the House,” he wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter, adding, “We know truth never fails and the right always emerge victorious”.
(With inputs from PTI)