SC can convene assembly session: Former RS secretary general

Shillong, Jan 27 (IANS) The Supreme Court can exercise its power of convening an assembly session when the house is kept under suspended animation, former Rajya Sabha secretary general Yogendra Narain said on Wednesday.

Narian was reacting to the union cabinet’s recommendation to imposed president’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh, that President Pranab Mukherjee approved on Tuesday.

“The Supreme Court has the power to convene the assembly session which is kept in suspended animation. It has been done earlier in the case of Kalyan Singh and Jagdambika Pal in Uttar Pradesh,” Narian told journalists on the sidelines of his lecture on “Participatory Democracy”.

“In this case too (Arunachal Pradesh), I am hoping that the Supreme Court will fix the date for convening of the assembly and would not leave to the governor to decide on convening of assembly session since the Centre did not dissolve the assembly but kept it in suspended animation,” he said.

On President’s rule in the frontier state bordering China, Narian said: “The Arunachal Pradesh government had violated the constitutional provision for not holding an assembly session within six months as mandated in the Constitution. Therefore, the only way was President’s Rule but the case is now before the Supreme Court.”

Reacting to the impeachment of assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia outside the assembly by voice vote and signed consent of 33 members, including 20 of the Congress, 11 of the BJP and two Independents, he said: “There are two issues — first, whether the speaker was right in dismissing the 14 Congress legislators and second, whether the sitting presided over by the deputy speaker in the Community Hall was valid or not.

“Once the Supreme Court decides on these two issues, the convening of the assembly session will be automatic.”

“If the Supreme Court upholds that the speaker was rightly removed, then the deputy speaker (T. Norbu Thongdok) will preside over the session.

“If the Supreme Court decides that his (Rebia’s) removal was illegal, then the speaker will preside. Let us wait for the Supreme Court decision on the dismissal of the speaker,” he said.

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