The day-old President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh is under scrutiny in the Supreme Court, which asked to see the state governor’s report citing a “Constitutional breakdown” and also asked the Centre to reply to its notice by Friday. The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought response from the Centre and Arunachal Pradesh Governor J.P. Rajkhowa to furnish relevant material backing their claim that there has been a failure of constitutional machinery in the sensitive border State of Arunachal Pradesh, thus warranting the proclamation of emergency by the President.
During the hearing, the apex court asked Arunachal Pradesh Governor to submit before it the report on the basis of which he recommended the imposition of President’s Rule in the state. The apex court has asked Governor JP Rajkhowa’s counsel to send its reports on e-mail and place them in court in 15 minutes.
The court gave the order during an emergency hearing of a petition filed by the Congress against central rule in the northeastern state. The matter is likely to be heard next on February 1.
Taking serious cognizance of the Congress plea, the Supreme Court also sought a report within 15 minutes from the state Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa on the basis of which he recommended the President’s rule.
The apex court has also expressed its displeasure to Rajkhowa as to why the Supreme Court was not informed about the developments in the state.
The petition at the time of filing on January 25 also foresees the strong possibility of the President giving his approval to the Cabinet recommendation, though at that point of time the President had merely sought clarification from the Union Home Ministry. It was only late afternoon on Republic Day that the President gave his approval and a notification issued declaring state of emergency in Arunachal Pradesh and suspended animation of the Legislative Assembly.
However, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi presented strong objections regarding the fact that emergency was not yet proclaimed when the petition was filed in the Supreme Court on January 25.
Urging the Bench to dismiss the petition outright, Mr. Rohatgi asked how the Congress could have challenged the legality of the President’s proclamation when the same had happened only the next day.
The Congress, which rules eight other states, has also accused the Arunachal governor of acting like a “BJP agent” by advancing the assembly session by a month to December 16, to help the rebels.
The Speaker went to the Gauhati High Court, which suspended the decisions but eventually dismissed his petition. The Speaker then moved the Supreme Court.