SC Asks BJP, Congress to Spell Out Stand on Prez Rule in Delhi
With Aam Aadmi Party crying foul on imposition of President's rule in Delhi, the Supreme Court today asked its political rivals, BJP and Congress, to clarify their position on keeping the Assembly under suspended animation for a year.
The apex court, which earlier had kept the two parties away from the hearing, decided to know their stand, after noting that neither the BJP nor the Congress had made their position clear on government formation following the resignation of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
It took into account the submissions of AAP and the Centre and wanted to know that "after enactment of tenth schedule of the constitution whether defection to happen can be a relevant consideration as a ground to keep the Assembly under suspended animation".
The bench was also looking for an answer as to "how the President's order can say that the Assembly has to be kept under suspended animation for a year."
When senior advocate Fali Nariman, appearing for AAP, said it was because of the provisions of law applied in the matter, the bench responded, "then it requires consideration."
"What is worrying, legally and constitutionally, is keeping the Assembly under suspended animation for a year may be harmful for democracy," the bench observed and added "is it not open for the President to recall his order".
The bench, which on February 24 had refrained from involving the BJP and Congress in the matter to avoid "political contest" at judicial forum, said since the position of the two parties was not clear on staking claim for government formation, their view has to be elicited.
"We issue notice to BJP and Congress as well now to know their position in the matter on the facts," a bench comprising justices R M Lodha and N V Ramana said while making it clear if their position becomes clear it may not be required to go into the question on whether speculation of defection to attain majority can be a ground to keep the Assembly under suspended animation.
The bench sought response from BJP and Congress within three weeks and decided to hear the matter on April 1.