'Govt's sack orders to guvs against Constitution'

'Govt's sack orders to guvs against Constitution'

Home secy has no power to call a guv: Aziz Qureshi

'Govt's sack orders to guvs against Constitution'

Arguing that the government’s move to sack Governors is putting the Constitution under “serious jeopardy”, Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi declared that the Union Home Secretary has “no business” to call a Governor and issue his government’s diktat.

In his petition filed in Supreme Court on Thursday questioning the Home Secretary’s phone calls asking him to quit, Qureshi said only the President’s Secretariat could call him to convey any communication regarding withdrawal of the latter’s pleasure to continue him in the post.

His arguments came as he alleged that Home Secretary Anil Goswami threatened him to quit or else face sacking.

“Regarding any aspect of pleasure of the President under Article 156, can anyone except the President’s secretariat make any communication to the Governor of the State regarding withdrawal of pleasure?” the petition asked.

Qureshi raised the question whether the Union Home Secretary has any authority to call the Governor of a State, who is his constitutional superior, and ask for his resignation.

The Uttarakhand Governor, whose term is till May 2017, also fears that if allowed to interfere, the Centre can arm-twist the Governor regarding important functions of the Governor’s office.

Qureshi has alleged that he got two calls from Goswami in July-end and August, asking him to quit on his own or face sacking. “There was no move to remove the Uttarakhand Governor. An appropriate reply will be given to Supreme Court on Uttarakhand Governor’s petition,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was quoted as saying by PTI.

On July 30, Qureshi said, Goswami  called him over phone and asked him to tender resignation purportedly for his alleged comment about rapes in Uttar Pradesh;  otherwise he would be sacked.

Three days later, Qureshi handed over in person his detailed explanation to President Pranab Mukherjee in a confidential communication. Similar intimation was made to the Home Minister too, he said.