Arunachal political crisis: Gauhati high court stays ‘assembly’ decisions

Guwahati

Arunachal political crisis comes in to a halt with the Gauhati High Court intervened to keep in “abeyance” decisions taken at the rebel “ assembly session”  held at Itanagr  on Thursday in which  Opposition BJP and rebel Congress MLAs together “vote out” Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and to “elect” a rebel Congress MLA “Kalikho Pul” in his place.

Coming down heavily on Governor J.P. Rajkhowa, the High Court kept in abeyance all decisions taken by the State “Assembly” on Wednesday in which it “removed” Speaker Nabam Rebia.

File Photo- Nabam Tuki and Kalikho Pul
File Photo- Nabam Tuki and Kalikho Pul

The court order came on a writ petition filed by the Speaker challenging the December 9, 2015 notification issued by the Governor advancing the Assembly session to December 16 from the scheduled day of January 24, 2016.

The dramatic political development came a day the rebel MLAs “impeached” Mr. Rebia in a make-shift “Assembly” premises in a community hall.

Eleven BJP MLAs and two Independent MLAs joined hands with 20 Congress rebels to meet at a conference hall of a sports club as the Assembly premises have been sealed since Wednesday.

On Thursday, a “no confidence” motion moved by BJP MLAs and Independent MLAs was “adopted” with Deputy Speaker T. Norbu Thongdok, who is also a rebel Congressman, in the Chair.

A total 33 members of the 60-member house, including 20 dissident Congress MLAs, later “elected” another dissident Congressman Kalikho Pul as the new “Chief Minister” of the State.

The Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and his 26 supporting MLAs boycotted the proceedings terming them as “illegal and unconstitutional”.

In the High Court, Justice Hrishikesh Roy observed prima facie that the exercise undertaken by the Governor advancing the Assembly session to December 16, 2015 is in “violation of Article 174 and 175 of the Constitution.

The two Articles relate to Sessions of the State legislature and the right of the Governor to address and send messages to the House.

Issuing notice, Justice Hrishikesh Roy kept in abeyance the impugned decisions including the notification issued by the Deputy Speaker restoring the membership of 14 suspended MLAs and the holding of the “session” at a new place and also the decision taken at the “session” yesterday in which the Speaker was removed.

The judge allowed petitioner Kapil Sibal to implead the government of Arunachal Pradesh as a party respondent. The judge posted the case for next hearing on February 1, 2016.

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