The Centre on Thursday justified the imposition of President’s rule in the national capital, stating the political situation was “fluid” and possibility of other parties staking claim to form the government cannot be ruled out.
Filing its affidavit in response to a petition by the Aam Aadmi Party, the Centre has said that the election was not being conducted in Delhi since it would be against the public interest to hold election again in such a short time.
“The Delhi Legislative Assembly has been put in suspended animation because situation was fluid and any other party or alliance staking claim to form government cannot be ruled out,” read the affidavit.
The Centre added that AAP’s claim that no other party would come forward to form the government was based solely on unauthenticated news reports and hence that cannot lead to a conclusive finding on the issue.
The court had last month, while steering clear of the politicisation of the dispute, agreed to examine only the constitutional issues raised by the AAP as to whether President’s rule could be imposed in Delhi after keeping its Assembly in suspended animation.
A Bench of Justices R M Lodha and Dipak Misra refrained from issuing notices to the BJP and the Congress, saying that the court did not wish to make it a “political contest” but it would want to examine the constitutional aspects relating to imposition of President’s rule without dissolving the Assembly.
The Bench issued a notice to the Centre, seeking its response on the petition by the AAP within 10 days. “It is a constitutional issue… so whoever has passed the order (of President’s rule) has to answer,” the bench said, while posting the matter for hearing on March 7.
The Centre also countered AAP’s argument that the BJP had decided not to form a government. It pointed out that AAP itself had decided not to take any support to form the government initially, but that decision changed and hence, political decisions can be changed even by BJP.
“The right of the citizens of Delhi to have a popularly elected Government obligates the President not to prematurely dissolve the Legislative Assembly, but to explore all means to have a popular government installed. This it was necessary not to close the right of other parties to form a government, ” it said. The Centre challenged AAP’s argument that they were a “majority” govt by suggesting that AAP lost support after failure to introduce Jan Lokpal Bill And became a minority govt.
“If according to the petitioners they were in a majority, then it was their obligation to continue to give a government to the people of Delhi. The fact that despite this they resigned strongly suggests that they were resorting to an expedient to justify their resigning and not shouldering the responsibility of running the govt.”