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Arunachal row: SC rebukes Governor Rajkhowa, asks him to steer clear from ‘political horse trading’


New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed “message and direction” issued by Arunachal Pradesh Governor J.P. Rajkhowa and restored status quo as on December 15 when Congress’ Nabam Tuki was the chief minister.

The Apex Court also hit out at the Governor asserting that what he did was unlawful and called on his to remain aloof from disagreement, discord, disharmony, discontent or dissention within individual political parties.

Following are the Supreme Court’s top 10 observations on the Governor:

1. The interpersonal relationships of constitutional functionaries are carried with such a complete lack of cordiality and gay abandon is indeed unfortunate. The result is thrashing given to constitution and spanking to governance.

2. All that needs to be said is that the events as they occurred with great rapidity and appeared to be nothing than a political circus.

3. Does the rule of law in our country permit the Governor to throw constitutional principles and rules of procedure and conduct of business of the Arunachal Pradesh legislative assembly to the whims and summon assembly to meet whoever or wherever he deems appropriate?

4. The Governor concluded that he may not be bound by the advise of council of ministers for whatever reason. From where did the governor derive this principle and how did he dream that he could invoke the concept of Individual judgment should a resolution of council of minister be place before him?

5. To make matters worse and in a sense humiliate the elected govt of the day, the Governor did ignore the resolution of council of ministers taken on Dec 14, 2015.

6. The Governor acted unilaterally and in an unregulated manner……he has to play the game in accordance with the rules of the constitution

7. It is not for the Governor to schedule the functioning of assembly. It is also not in the Governor domain to schedule the agenda if the house. Governor has no role with reference to ongoings in the assembly. Governor must keep away from all that which goes on in the house

8. Twenty one MLAs from INC did not constitute a legitimate, recognisable break away group.

9. The Governor must remain aloof from disagreement, discord, disharmony, discontent or dissention within individual political parties.

10. Governor must keep clear of any political horse trading and unsavoury political manipulations.

Earlier today, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said that the Supreme Court’s historic verdict on Arunachal Pradesh is a clear message to those who wanted to trample upon constitutional propriety and democratic norms.

“Welcome Supreme Court’s historic verdict. Those who had trampled upon constitutional propriety and democratic norms have been defeated today,” Sonia said in a statement.

However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) downplayed the Congress’ accusations of toppling elected governments in states ruled by the grand old party and said the Arunachal Pradesh verdict is not a setback for the Centre.

Dubbing the Congress’ allegations as baseless, BJP spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said the apex court’s verdict is in no way a setback for the saffron party in Arunachal.

The Supreme Court had earlier in February reserved its judgement in the case for today. The apex court had said the verdict will not only have its effect on Arunachal Pradesh, but affect every state.

Just before the court had reserved its verdict, rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul was sworn-in as the ninth chief minister of the state. He got the support of 18 dissident Congress MLAs and two independents, with 11 BJP MLAs giving him outside support.

Arunachal Pradesh had been under President’s Rule since January 26.

Tuki-led Congress government was dismissed following days of turmoil after 21 of its 47 lawmakers rebelled against the chief minister.

The Congress, 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.

The leader of the dissident faction, Kalikho Pul, was sworn-in as the chief minister on February 19 with the support of the 20 Congress rebels and 11 legislators of the BJP. (ANI)

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