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SC paves way for govt formation
Arunachal crisis: Apex court vacates status quo
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday vacated its order to maintain status quo in crisis-ridden Arunachal Pradesh, which may pave the way for government formation by rebel Congress MLAs with the support of BJP lawmakers.
The Central government on Wednesday held back its decision to revoke President’s Rule in the wake of the status quo order passed by the apex court.
The revocation will allow formation of a new government likely to be headed by the rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul in the border state.
Referring to the Gauhati High Court order staying the disqualification of 14 rebel MLAs, the five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice J S Khehar said, “it does not call for any interference”.
The bench, which also perused the records summoned from Gauhati High Court pertaining to disqualification of the rebel legislators, said it was “prima facie” satisifed with the high court order and not inclined to interfere with it.
“Prima facie we are not inclined to interfere with the High Court order, we are satisfied with it. Having (seen the original records which are put before us by the Registrar General of Gauhati High Court, the order of January 7 calls for no interference at this stage.
“Accordingly, the ad-interim order passed is vacated,” the bench also comprising Justices Dipak Misra, M B Lokur, P C Ghose and N V Ramana said.
Senior Advocate Fali S Nariman opposed the order and said till the Gauhati High Court decides the matter, some conditions may be imposed. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi opposed the contention of Nariman and said the matter is settled and no conditions should be imposed.
Nariman opposed his presence in the matter and asked “what is union government doing in this case.”
To this, Rohatgi said “I will explain everything. I am here because the injunction had come in between the revocation of President’s Rule in the state.”
The bench then said the injunction of status quo was consciously passed by it to prevent the situation from going out of hand till it was satisfied by the facts of the case.
“We consciously did that. We were aware of the effects of the injunction, but to prevent the situation from going out of hand before we were satisfied with the facts, we had to do it,” the bench said. It further said “the injunction had a far-reaching effect and had very wide ramification.”
The bench also transferred the case regarding disqualification of the 14 rebel MLAs from the single judge to the division bench of the high court and asked it to expeditiously decide the matter within two weeks.
It posted the matter for further hearing in the High Court to February 22. (Agencies)