A five judge bench headed by Justice J.S.Khehar of the Supreme Court today, in a big setback for BJP-led NDA government, quashed all orders given by Arunachal Pradesh Governor after December 25, restoring the Nabam Tuki-led Congress government in the state.
“Governor’s decision advancing Arunachal Pradesh Assembly session by a month is violative of the Constitution and liable to be quashed,” the court ruled, adding that the Governor’s direction on conducting assembly proceedings is violative of the Constitution. “All steps and the decision taken by the Legislative Assembly pursuant to Governor’s Dec 9, 2015 order are unsustainable and liable to be set aside,” the court said. It directed status quo ante in Arunachal Pradesh as it prevailed on December 15, 2015.
The Nabam Tuki government was dismissed following days of turmoil after 21 of the 47 Congress legislators rebelled against the chief minister. Arunachal Pradesh was placed under President’s Rule on January 26.
Just before the apex court had reserved its verdict on February 20 this year, rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul was sworn in as Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh with the support of 18 dissident Congress members of the legislative assembly and two independents and 11 Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs who gave outside support in the 60-member Assembly.
The decision is a huge embarrassment for the BJP-ruled Union government that ordered President’s Rule in the state, following which Congress rebels formed the government with support from the saffron party. This is the second time in recent months that the BJP has faced a setback over imposing President’s Rule. Earlier this year, it clamped central rule in Uttarakhand after eight Congress MLAs rebelled against chief minister Harish Rawat, triggering a prolonged court battle. But the courts ruled in favour of the Congress and Rawat won a crucial floor vote.
“We have got justice from the Supreme Court, it has today (Wednesday) saved this country and its Constitution. (It’s) a historic and remarkable judgement which was expected by the people of country. I will hold discussions with party MLAs and decide further course of action, we’ll do whatever is required legally.” Nabam Tuki, Chief Minister.
“Modi ji has faith neither in the Constitution nor in people’s mandate. He wants to run this country with dictatorial attitude…First Uttarakhand and now Arunachal Pradesh…Hope Modi ji learns from this and respects governments elected by people of the nation. Hope he will let Delhi Government function.” Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister.
“Thank you Supreme Court for explaining to the Prime Minister what democracy is.” Rahul Gandhi, Vice President, Indian National Congress.
“No setback for BJP in Arunachal Pradesh, this crisis occurred due to internal conflicts within Congress.” Bhartiya Janata Party.
“Welcome SC’s historic verdict. Those who had trampled upon constitutional propriety & democractic norms have been defeated today.” Sonia Gandhi, President, All India Congress.
“This day will be written in golden words in the history of India. Supreme Court’s decision will result in Nabam Tuki being the CM in Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa must resign, this is our demand. Centre ministers who were involved in this decision, they must clarify and apologise.” Kapil Sibbal, Rajya Sabha MP.