Apex court clears way for govt formation in Arunachal

Apex court clears way for govt formation in Arunachal

The Supreme Court on Thursday modified its order directing status quo in Arunachal Pradesh and paved the way for the governor to explore the possibility of formation of a government in the state.

After examining the records relating to Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia’s decision on disqualification of 14 rebel Congress MLAs and Gauhati HC’s order setting it aside, a five-judge Constitution bench, presided over by Justice J S Khehar, vacated status quo order in the state. “We are satisfied that the interim order passed by the high court on January 7 calls for no interference at this stage,” the bench said.

The court, however, allowed Congress leaders to approach a division bench of the high court against the order passed by the single judge bench. The bench, also comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Madan B Lokur, N V Ramana and P C Ghose, allowed the petitioner as well as rival parties to raise their contention before the high court. 

Upholding the HC’s interim order, which had stayed disqualification of the MLAs, the SC directed it to hear the disqualification matter from February 22 and conclude the hearing in two weeks. But the court said any action taken would be subject to the final outcome of the controversy. Senior advocate F S Nariman, appearing for Congress leaders, pleaded for putting some conditions which was opposed by Attorney General (A-G) Mukul Rohatgi.

As Nariman questioned Rohatgi’s presence, the A-G explained that the court order had come in the way of revocation of the President’s Rule.

The court’s order on Wednesday — restraining the governor from swearing-in a new government — had virtually thwarted any move on government formation. This was acknowledged by the bench, which said, “injunction had wide ramification.”

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