Cong plea for status quo in Arunachal rejected

Cong plea for status quo in Arunachal rejected

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to pass an interim order on a plea of Congress leaders that Arunachal Pradesh governor J P Rajkhowa be restrained from installing a new government in the state.

A five-judge Constitution bench presided by Justice J S Khehar also rejected their plea for maintaining status quo in the state so that no alternative government could be formed.

“We don’t propose to pass any order and we will hear the matter on merits,” the bench, also comprising justices Dipak Misra, M B Lokur, N V Ramana and P C Ghose, said.

The state has been placed under President’s Rule since January 26. Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi rushed to the court after coming to know that Congress leaders were seeking direction on maintaining status quo on possible political developments in the state.

He said the courts cannot “pre-empt” a constitutional authority from taking any decision. Agreeing to his submission, the bench said, “If somebody is installed (as chief minister), let the floor test take place…we will consider the case on merit.”

Senior lawyers Fali S Nariman and Kapil Sibal, appearing for Arunachal Congress leaders, submitted that the governor cannot invite rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul to be chief minister as he is disqualified from the House. 

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