The imposition of Presidents rule in crisis-hit Arunachal Pradesh today came under the scanner of the Supreme Court which sought the report of Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa recommending central rule in the state, saying “it is too serious a matter”.
The remark by a five-judge bench headed by Justice J S Khehar came when Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi raised a preliminary objection contending that the notification on promulgation of Presidents rule has not been challenged in the fresh plea.
The bench asked the Attorney General not to raise “technical objections” when he persisted with his plea arguing that “rules are rules” and they apply equally to all.
It posted the matter for February one asking the Governor and the Ministry of Home Affairs to file responses by Friday on petitions filed by Congress leaders including the plea of Rajesh Tacho, Chief Whip of Congress Legislature party in the state assembly which is now kept under suspended animation.
The bench allowed the petitioners to amend their plea by Friday.
When Additional Solicitor General Satpal Jain, appearing for the Governor, sought to maintain secrecy of the report and the recommendation for the Presidents rule, the bench said, “He will only mention the date of report recommending Presidents rule to opposite parties during the course of the day.”
However, the bench for its own perusal sought in a sealed cover the report and recommendation on imposition of the Presidents rule.
“Unless we get the grounds for recommending the Presidents rule, we cannot proceed. If grounds are not same in the proclamation then it is totally a different ball game,” the bench, also comprising justices Dipak Misra, M B Lokur, P C Ghose and N V Ramana, said during the hearing.
The bench was also of the view that no interim order can be obtained unless the parties see the grounds for proclamation for Presidents rule.
A battery of senior lawyers including Fali S Nariman, Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhawan and Vivek Tankha opposed the plea of governor seeking to maintain secrecy of his report and recommendation, saying that larger bench of more than five judges have alreadey laid down the proposition on this aspect.
( Source – PTI )