GUWAHATI: The struggle for power in Nagaland has reached the court.
The Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court on Friday stayed until July 17, governor PB Acharya’s letter to chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu, dated July 13, demanding that he take a floor test on or before July 15.
The matter will come up for hearing again on July 17.
The court’s order was delivered during the hearing of a writ petition filed by the chief minister. The court was of the “tentative opinion” that an interim is called for and stayed the governor’s letter till Monday.
In the writ petition, it was argued that the decision of the governor, asking the chief minister (petitioner) to conduct a floor test on or before July 15 was “ex facie unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary and violative of the basic features of the Constitution.”
“It is submitted that the decision of the Governor to the petitioner directing to convene an emergent session, communicated on 13.07.2017, is ex facie unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary and against the well-established Constitutional convention of a Hon’ble chief minister’s duties and responsibilities to discharge his official functions under the Constitution of India,” the chief minister’s office (CMO) said adding that the decision was taken in haste.
The CMO said the governor had virtually sought to “strangulate the will of the council of ministers and used the office of the governor to suit his political needs.”
There was no recommendation from the council of ministers to the governor on the matter. He on his own will chose to impose the impugned decision upon the petitioner without any legal foundation and in violation of the Constitutional norms, the CMO said.
“The Hon’ble Governor, without affording an opportunity to the petitioner for a free and fair election for his candidature, has hastily proceeded to reject the request made by the petitioner herein to pre-empt the already scheduled elections,” the CMO said.
The governor on Friday arrived in Kohima. The dissident Naga People’s Front (NPF) MLAs led by TR Zeliang, who were camping at a Kaziranga resort, also returned to the state. Later, the CM called on the governor.