Supreme Court restores Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh

NEW DELHI: In a landmark judgment on Wednesday, the Supreme Court said that Arunachal Pradesh governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa’s decision advancing session of the state assembly by a month is violative of the Constitution and is liable to be quashed.

The Supreme Court said all steps and decisions taken by the legislative assembly pursuant to governor’s December 9, 2015 order are unsustainable and liable to be quashed.

The SC judgment means the present Arunachal Pradesh government headed by Kalikho Pul would have to step down now to make way for Congress government headed by Nabam Tuki.

The SC also struck down removal of speaker Nabam Rebia and said he would be restored back as Speaker of the House.

This is a historic verdict as it is for the first time that the apex court has put back a state government that had been dismissed by the Centre under the President’s rule.

“We have got justice from the Supreme Court, it has today saved this country and its Constitution. It is a historic and remarkable judgment which was expected by the people of country,” Tuki said.

“We will hold discussions with party MLAs and decide further course of action, we’ll do whatever is required legally,” he added.

The Congress too welcomed the verdict . “I salute the Supreme Court for this verdict,” said Congress leader and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal who argued the case in the Supreme Court.

The apex court had said the verdict in this case will not only have its effect on Arunachal Pradesh, but affect every state.

The SC bench had segregated two other sets of petitions which were filed against the subsequent promulgation of President’s Rule in the state and its revocation thereafter, which had led to the formation of a new government.

Just before the apex court had reserved its verdict on February 20, rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul was sworn in as the ninth chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh with the support of 18 dissident Congress MLAs and two independents and 11 BJP MLAs who gave outside support.

Congress party, which had 47 MLAs seats in the 60-member assembly, suffered a jolt when 21 of its lawmakers rebelled. Eleven BJP MLAs backed the rebels in the bid to upstage the government. Later, 14 rebel Congress MLAs were disqualified.

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