President's Rule in Arunachal: Supreme Court raps Centre

Arunachal row a sledgehammer blow, says Congress.

New Delhi: Saying “it’s too serious a matter”, a five-judge Supreme Court bench Wednesday sought the report of Arunachal Pradesh governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa recommending Central rule in the state, and listed the matter for Monday. The Congress, which had challenged the imposition of President’s Rule in the state, has said the party has an “open mind” on reaching out to the rebels, but reiterated that it still has a majority in the Assembly.

The five-judge bench headed by Justice J.S. Khehar also brushed aside the objection by attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi, who had raised a preliminary contention saying the notification on promulgation of Pres-ident’s 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 the “rules are rules” and they applied equally to all.

Centre told to file reply by Friday
The Supreme Court bench posted the matter for February 1, and asked the governor and the Union home ministry to file responses by Friday on the petitions filed by Congress leaders, including one by Rajesh Tacho, chief whip of the Congress Legislature Party in the state Assembly, which is now 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 the secrecy of the report and recommendation for President’s Rule, the bench said: “He will only mention the date of report recommending President’s Rule to opposite parties during the course of the day.” However, the bench sought in a sealed cover the report and recommendation on the imposition of President’s Rule for its own perusal.

“Unless we get the grounds for recommending President’s Rule, we cannot proceed. If the grounds are not the same in the proclamation, then it is a totally different ballgame,” the bench, which also comprised Justices Dipak Misra, M.B. Lokur, P.C. Ghose and N.V. Ramana, said during the hearing.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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