The Supreme Court on Friday asked AAP’s political rivals, the BJP and Congress, to clarify their position on keeping the Assembly under suspended animation for a year.
The Bench that had earlier distanced the two parties from the hearing, decided to acknowledge their stand, after noting that neither the BJP nor the Congress had made their position clear on the formation of a new government following the resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“In India the situation can change. The same party can support and the same party can oppose. In Delhi, the candidate who defeated the sitting Chief Minister got the support of her party to form the government,” the Bench said.
“And when the party in power came out with the Jan Lokpal Bill, the Congress, which was supporting it, joined hands with its rival BJP and did not allow it to place it in the Assembly,” the Bench said.
“Today’s enemy can be tomorrow’s friend,” the Bench said. It added that “in politics enemies are not permanent”.
“BJP, the main opposition in the Assembly supported the Congress and the Congress supported the BJP when the AAP Government came out with the Jan Lokpal Bill,” the Bench observed.
The Bench also addressed the AAP’s claim that the party was deprived by the Centre of the Lt Governor Najeeb Jung’s February 15 report sent to the President, which formed the basis to not dissolve the Assembly.
The Bench sought an answer on “how the President’s order can say that the Assembly has to be kept under suspended animation for a year.”
Senior advocate Fali Nariman said it was because the provisions of law applied in the matter and 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.
The bench, which on February 24 had refrained from involving the BJP and Congress in the matter to avoid a “political contest” at a judicial forum, said since the position of the two parties was not clear, their view has to be elicited.
“We issued a notice to the BJP and Congress to know their position regarding the matter,” a Bench comprising justices R M Lodha and N V Ramana said.
After Attorney General G E Vahanvati agreed that there was no privilege attached to the LG’s report, the Bench told him that the AAP should have the copy of it as it had complained that no reason had been assigned for keeping the Assembly in suspended animation.
The Centre had justified that its decision of not dissolving the Delhi Assembly was taken in “public interest”, as there was a possibility of the BJP staking a claim to form a government.