New Delhi: Congress today moved the Supreme Court challenging the Union Cabinet’s recommendation for imposition of President’s Rule in crisis-ridden Arunachal Pradesh alleging that “illegal and unlawful” attempt have been made to topple the Nabam Tuki government. The plea, filed by Rajesh Tacho, Chief Whip of Congress Legislature party, has sought a direction for the Centre and Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa to furnish records pertaining to his recommendation for President’s Rule in the state.
“…There is absolutely no material justifying the action under Article 356 of the Constitution of India except the personal ipse dixit (unsupported assertion) of the Respondent No.2 (Rajkhowa) who has abused the Office of the Governor by acting as an agent and the mouth piece of the Central Government,” it said.
The Governor’s recommendation in the present case is to promote “political interests of party in power at the Centre,” the Congress plea claimed. The plea further sought restoration of the Nabam Tuki government along with his Council of Ministers to office by “reviving and reactivating” the 6th Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
It has sought a direction to declare as “illegal and void-ab-initio” any decision which may be taken during the period of central rule.
“The action of the Governor is not only illegal and unconstitutional but also suffers from malice in fact and in law from bias. The Respondents (Centre and the G vernor) are under a constitutional mandate to act in a just and fair manner and their actions are amenable to the Writ Jurisdiction of this court,” the petition, settled by jurist Fali S Nariman, said. The plea said the Governor should place the “report and material” leading to the Cabinet’s January 24 recommendation for imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh.
It said that if the report and the recommendation become the basis of proclamation and notification of President’s Rule in the state, the same should be quashed. “Actions/inactions on the part of the Centre and the Governor directly and inevitably impact on the fundamental right of the Petitioner herein under Article 14 of the Constitution herein read with Article 21 of the Constitution, apart from encroaching upon the democratic principles of governance,” the plea said.
It also said the decision to impose central rule cannot be justified as “there was no such immediate urgency or break down of the state machinery justifying the emergent meeting of the Cabinet on a Sunday to recommend imposition of President’s Rule in the state.”