SC Go-ahead for Government in Arunachal

Vacates its earlier order to maintain status quo; not to interfere in HC stay on disqualification of 14 MLAs.

Published: 19th February 2016 04:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2016 05:00 AM   |  A+A-


File Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday vacated its order and paved the way for government formation in Arunachal Pradesh after being satisfied with the Gauhati High Court order of staying the disqualification of the 14 rebel Congress MLAs.

After perusing the records, a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice J S Khehar said, “Prima facie we are not inclined to interfere with the High Court order. We are satisfied with it. Having seen the original records, which are put before us by the Registrar General of the Gauhati High Court, the order of January 7 calls for no interference at this stage. Accordingly, the ad-interim order passed is vacated.”

The Bench also transferred the case regarding the disqualification of the 14 legislators from the single judge to the Division Bench of the High Court and asked it to expeditiously decide the matter within two weeks.

The Bench, however, made it clear that any further action taken would be subject to the outcome of the matter pending before it.

The records from the Gauhati High Court were summoned by the Bench on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the Constitution Bench had ordered maintenance of status quo hours after the Union Cabinet had decided to recommend revocation of President’s Rule in the state.

During the hearing on Thursday, senior advocate Fali S Nariman opposed the order and said till the Gauhati High Court decided the matter, some conditions may be imposed. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi opposed the contention of Nariman and said the matter is settled and no conditions should be imposed. The Bench then said the injunction of status quo was consciously passed by it to prevent the situation from going out of hand till it was satisfied by the facts of the case. “We consciously did that. We were aware of the effects of the injunction, but to prevent the situation from going out of hand before we were satisfied with the facts, we had to do it,” the bench said.

The apex court disposed off the application of Arunachal Congress leaders seeking to restrain Governor J P Rajkhowa from swearing in a new government and vacation of the interim order of the Gauhati High Court.

It, however, asked the Arunachal Congress leaders to move Gauhati High Court and seek the remedy there, but made it clear that “what will happen and what will not happen will be subject to the outcome of the main petition before us.”

The Bench after perusing the records said that Speaker Nabam Rebia’s order disqualifying the 14 MLAs had said that notices were pasted at their houses but the fact is some thing different.

“There were two things, first the summons were not served on the 14 MLAs and second the notice for removal were also not served which was against the principal of natural justice,” the Bench said.

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