In a huge setback for the Narendra Modi government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the restoration of ousted Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki as it quashed the decision of Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa preponing the state assembly session in December 2015.
In a unanimous judgement, a constitution bench headed by Justice J.S. Khehar directed the restoration of the status quo as it existed on December 15, 2015, directed the manner in which the assembly proceedings had to be conducted and set aside all the steps and decisions the house had taken, describing them as unsustainable.
Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Madan B. Lokur pronounced concurring judgements giving their additional reasons to agree with Justice Khehar.
Reacting to this development, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said, "Thank you Supreme Court for explaining to the Prime Minister what democracy is."
Thank you Supreme Court for explaining to the Prime Minister what democracy is. #ArunachalPradesh: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhiâ€” ANI (@ANI_news) July 13, 2016
The state assembly had been unstable following a rift within the ruling Congress party between CM Tuki and Kalikho Pul in last November.
Following which on December 16 last year, 21 rebel Congress MLAs of the Kalikho Pul camp joined hands with 11 of BJP and two independents to 'impeach' assembly speaker Nabam Rebia at a makeshift venue, in a move branded as "illegal and unconstitutional" by the speaker.
Kalikho Pul is understood to be as an arch rival of Tuki within the party.
However, Pul was elected the 'chief minister' in a session, advanced by Governor J P Rajkhowa to December 16 from January 14, and held in makeshift premises.
Rebia had then filed a petition challenging the governor's notification of December 9 advancing the assembly session and also the notification issued by Deputy Speaker T Norbu Thondok revoking the suspension of 14 MLAs.
Following that, the Supreme Court had ordered that no session would be continued in the House till January 18. The legality of assembly session conducted on December 16 and 17 by deputy speaker TN Thongdok is under question before a constitution bench of the Supreme Court.
(With agency inputs)