SUPREME COURT RESTORES CONGRESS GOVERNMENT IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH
New Delhi: A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously restored the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh.
The order, primarily a critique of the role played by the Governor’s office, quashed all decisions taken by Arunachal Pradesh Governor J P Rajkhowa — from mid-December 2015 to the time that a new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-supported government was put in place in February — as “unconstitutional”.
Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi, after a high-level meeting at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence in the evening, said the Governor would implement the judgment. The Centre was not a party in the matter. Rohatgi said no decision has been taken to file a review petition. Earlier, the PM consulted senior ministers and explored the way forward, including a review petition. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rohatgi and top government officials met at the home ministry and examined the apex court ruling and its implications, sources said. After the hour-long meeting, they drove to the PM’s official residence.
The five judges gave three separate but concurring judgments in 330 pages. Presiding judge Justice J S Khehar said the Governor should not embroil himself in any “political thicket”. The Bench attempted to define the role of the gubernatorial office. It said the Governor can exercise his powers, without the aid and advice of the council of ministers, only when the government has lost a floor test.
The BJP termed the SC order as “very strange”. Its national secretary Shrikant Sharma said the order has weakened the democratic spirit as it would reinstate the Congress’ Nabam Tuki government, which doesn’t have the numbers, by replacing the Kalikho Pul government that has a majority.
Congress and other parties welcomed the judgment, terming it a slap on the face of the Modi government’s dictatorial attitude.