The political battle in Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday reached the Supreme Court with Nabam Rebia, who was allegedly removed by some rebel Congress and BJP MLAs from the post of Assembly Speaker, challenging the dismissal of one of his pleas by the Gauhati High Court.
A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur agreed to hear the plea of Rebia when senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Vivek Tankha mentioned the matter for urgent hearing alleging that the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court had “erroneously rejected” his plea.
Rebia was removed from the post of the Speaker by 14 rebel Congress MLAs, disqualified by the Speaker, and BJP MLAs on December 16 in an assembly session presided over by the Deputy Speaker in a Community Hall in Itanagar.
The Deputy Speaker, before removing Rebia from Speaker’s post, had also quashed the disqualification of the rebel Congress legislators. Later, various decisions of the Governor and the Deputy Speaker were challenged by Rebia in Gauhati High Court which passed an interim order keeping in abeyance the decisions of Governor and Deputy Speaker till February one.
Rebia has now moved the apex court alleging that he had filed an interim application on the judicial side by seeking recusal of Justice B K Sharma from hearing his plea in the High Court. However, the Acting Chief Justice, on January 4, “has erroneously rejected the Petitioner’s recusal application” which should have been decided by Justice B K Sharma whose recusal was sought, Rebia said.
“Whether the Hon’ble Acting Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court committed an error by passing an administrative order on an application which was moved on the judicial side (as an interim application) for being listed before Justice B K Sharma? Whether the Acting Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court committed an error by taking unto himself the Recusal Application, which ought to have been listed for hearing before Justice B K Sharma,” Rebia asked in his plea.
He also claimed that the plea, filed in the judicial side, was decided by the Acting Chief Justice in his “administrative” capacity.