SC orders restoration of congress govt in Arunachal Pradesh

The Supreme Court today ordered the restoration of former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki’s Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh. A five-judge constitution bench pronounced the verdict on a bunch of petitions dealing with discretionary powers of Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa to summon or advance the assembly session.

It said, the Governor’s direction on conducting assembly proceedings is unconstitutional. The court set aside all steps and decision taken by the Legislative Assembly pursuant to Governor’s December 9th, last year order saying that they are unsustainable.

The apex court had, in February, reserved its judgement in the case for today. It had said the verdict will not only have its effect on Arunachal Pradesh, but affect every state.

Just before the court had reserved its verdict, rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul was sworn-in as the ninth Chief Minister of the state. He got the support of 18 dissident Congress MLAs and two independents, with 11 BJP MLAs giving him outside support.

Nabam Tuki has termed the verdict as historic. He told news agency PTI that with the verdict, democracy has been protected. Asked about his future course of action, Mr Tuki said he will consult party legislators and the decision will be taken as per the court order and party ideology.

Chief Minister Kalikho Pul said, only numbers matter in democracy. Talking to newspersons in Guwahati, Mr Pul asserted that his government is in majority which has been proved as per procedure.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said, he has not gone through the verdict as of now. He, however, said, one has to prove majority in democratic system.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi welcomed the court’s judgement.

AIR correspondent reports, on December 9 last year, Governor JP Rajkhowa preponed the state assembly session from January 14 this year to December 16 last and set the impeachment of the Speaker as the first age nda of the House. Later, 20 rebel Congress legislators along with 11 BJP and 2 independent MLAs impeached the speaker and voted out Chief Minister Nabam Tuki in an assembly session held in a makeshift venue and elected Kalikho Pul as the next Chief Minister unanimously.
Sensing the political crisis Centre imposed President’s Rule in the state on January 26 and was lifted on February 19 last thus letting Kalikho Pul to form a new government. The congress then moved the apex court on the matter. On the court’s historic decision Nabam Tuki said that this is a victory of democracy and the law has protected the country.

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