SC stays HC's order on constitutional breakdown in AP

SC stays Andhra Pradesh HC's order on breakdown of constitutional machinery in state

The top court put the matter for consideration in January

Supreme Court. Credit: PTI Photo

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed an order by the Andhra Pradesh High Court whereby it had decided to examine "if there is a constitutional breakdown in the state or not",

Terming it as "disturbing", a bench presided over by Chief Justice S A Bobde suspended the operation of the HC's October 1 order. The court passed its order, acting on a petition filed by the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government.

The top court put the matter for consideration in January.

The state government submitted that the HC has framed the question, to examine "breakdown of constitutional machinery" in the state, in "an unprecedented manner and without any basis or pleadings by any of the parties to that effect".

In its plea, the state government contended the order passed in one habeas corpus petition was replicated in as many as 14 cases.

"Under the scheme of the Constitution, it is Article 356 that deals with the failure of constitutional machinery in a State. Under this Article, if the president, on receipt of a report from the Governor of a State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, the President can impose presidents Rule. This is a power exclusively vested in the Executive," it said.

The state government also submitted that the order was not only unprecedented but is also "uncalled for, violative of the basic structure of the Constitution and grossly misconceived".

It asked the top court to set aside the HC's order saying it was completely unsustainable.

"The High Court has completely ignored the warning that the Supreme Court has, time and again, sounded advising the courts to respect the other co-equal organs of the State and to refrain from assuming executive powers to itself," it said.

It is to be noted that CM Reddy, through his office, had gone public on October 10 with his October 6 letter to the Chief Justice of India, alleging the top court and HC judges of unfair dealing with cases concerning the state.