The Supreme Court Thursday lifted its order on maintaining status quo on President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh, thereby clearing the decks for the formation of a new state government by rebel Congress MLAs with the support of BJP legislators.
The Constitution Bench, led by Justice J S Khehar, said it was prima facie satisfied with the Gauhati High Court order staying the disqualification of the 14 rebel MLAs. “Prima facie we are not inclined to interfere with the high court order; we are satisfied with it. Having seen the original records which are put before us by the Registrar General of Gauhati High Court, the January 7 order calls for no interference at this stage. Accordingly, the ad-interim order passed is vacated,” said the bench.
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Appearing for the Congress leaders, senior advocate Fali S Nariman opposed the order and said till the Gauhati High Court decides the matter, some conditions may be imposed.
Representing the Centre, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi opposed Nariman, saying no conditions should be imposed.
The bench then said the injunction of the status quo was consciously passed by it to prevent the situation from going out of hand till it was satisfied by the facts of the case.
“We consciously did that. We were aware of the effects of the injunction, but to prevent the situation from going out of hand before we were satisfied with the facts, we had to do it,” the bench said. It added that “the injunction had a far-reaching effect”.
The bench also transferred the case regarding disqualification of the 14 rebel MLAs from the single judge to the division bench of the high court and ask-ed it to decide the matter within two weeks. It posted the matter for further on February 22.