SC to Hear Congress Petition Against President’s Rule

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to grant an emergency hearing to a petition filed by the Congress against the imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh, but the party also faced embarrassment as the court pointed that it had not paid the required fee.

The petition, filed by the state Congress chief whip, assumes significance as a five-judge bench is examining constitutional provisions on the scope of discretionary powers of the governor.

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A bench of justices JS Khehar and C Nagappan, however, said that the court fee of Rs 800 has not been filed by the petitioner and the font of the text in the petition is not as per the norms of the court. The bench said that the registry had given a list, pointing out defects in the petitions.

It however agreed to hear the case, calling it an emergency and posted the matter for 2pm. The case would be heard by a constitution bench which has been dealing with the Arunachal controversy.

An earlier plea filed by Nabam Rebia – who was allegedly removed from the post of speaker by rebel Congress and BJP MLAs in an assembly session held at a community hall in Itanagar on December 16 – has listed out legal questions, including the governor’s power to convene the assembly session without the aid and advice of the government for adjudication by the apex court.

It has also been alleged that the governor advanced the assembly sitting from January 14 to December 16 without the aid and advice of the chief minister and his council of ministers.

The Congress, which has 47 MLAs in the 60-member assembly, suffered a jolt when 21 of them rebelled. Eleven BJP MLAs backed the rebels in the bid to upstage the Nabam Tuki government. Later, 14 rebel Congress MLAs were disqualified.

The governor then called the assembly session on December 16 in which deputy speaker revoked the disqualification of 14 rebel Congress MLAs and removed Rebia from the post of Speaker. This sitting was held in a community hall in Itanagar.

Various decisions of the governor and the deputy speaker were challenged by Rebia in Gauhati high court which passed an interim order keeping in abeyance these decisions till February 1.

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