Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court has come down heavily on Arunachal Pradesh Governor J P Rajkhowa saying he is required to perform his duty with the aid of the Council of Ministers but his action of preponing the Assembly session on the demand of Opposition MLAs “taints” the decision and renders it “unworthy of the state’s constitutional head”.
Justice Hrishikesh Roy, who was yesterday hearing a writ petition filed by the “ousted” Speaker Nabam Rebia against the notification of the Governor preponing the Assembly “session”, also observed that the decision of the Governor “reflects the non neutral role of the constitutional head and this is undermining the democratic process”.
“The Governor while summoning the House of the State Legislature, is required to perform his duty with the aid of the Council of Ministers and the Chief Minister in consultation with the Speaker is made competent to advice the Governor, for summoning the Assembly, under the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly
“In discharging this function, the Governor acts as a constitutional head and therefore his decision to prepone the assembly session without advice of the Chief Minister and primarily on requisition made by the opposition MLAs, taints the Governor’s order and renders it unworthy of the State’s constitutional head,” Justice Hrishikesh Roy observed in his order yesterday.
Justice Roy passed the order while staying the Governor’s notification and the Deputy Speaker’s action in convening the Assembly in whose “proceedings” the Speaker was “removed”, Chief Minister was “voted out” and the a new CM “elected”.
The also observed that The power of the Governor to send message to the House was with respect to a pending bill in the House and this power under Article 175(2) cannot be utilised to send message on a pending resolution for removal of the Speaker and “hence this appears to be an act of exceeding the jurisdiction.”
“Moreover the resolution for removal of the Deputy Speaker was moved prior to the similar resolution of the Speaker and yet the Governor has fixed the later resolution as the first agenda”, the Judge said.
“This suggests a non bona fide intervention by the conditional head in the context of his decision to advance by a month the assembly session only in order to take up as a first agenda, the resolution for removal of the speaker in a session to be presided by the Deputy Speaker, who himself is facing a resolution for removal, from an earlier date”, he said.