Governor has ‘no role to play’ in issue of Anti- Defection Law says Supreme Court

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New Delhi: Honourable Supreme Court of India commented while hearing the case of Arunachal Pradesh that, in the issues connected with the Anti- defection law, the Governor had ‘no role to play’ and it is the domain of Speaker.

It was actually, the case relating to the action of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, Rajkhowa, who had exercised his discretion power for advancing the sixth session of Arunachal Pradesh Assembly in order to remove Speaker, Nabam Rebia and this triggered the entire political crisis leading to the imposition of rule of President.

Thus, the five- judges bench of Supreme Court, led by Justice J S Khehar and also comprising of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Madan B Lokur, Justice PC Ghose and Justice NV Ramana, asked that how the constitutional powers of the speaker can be taken away by the Governor for disqualifying the lawmakers on the grounds of defection?.

Also, while hearing the said case, the bench has also commented that the Governor has ‘no role to play’ in the issue which are prescribed in the Constitution of India’s Tenth Schedule (anti- defection provision). However, he may have some role to play in functioning of the assembly, court commented.

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Also, as per bench, the ‘undemocratic’ decision would be opened for judicial review. And it was noted by the court while considering the democracy as the part of basic structure of the Constitution of India.

Defending Rajkhowa, the Governor’s decision, T. R. Andhyarijuna, the Senior Advocate stated that the Governor has exercised his constitutional discretionary power, when there was seen that the Speaker was under clout and part of conspiracy with the Government of the State. Also, he contended that the discretionary powers which the Governor had exercised are ‘undefined’ in the Constitution of India. And also he sought to claim that said discretionary powers’ exercise will offer hardly any scope for Judicial review.

However, as per the findings of the said Bench of Apex court, the observations are tentative in nature.

Thus, the matter has involved the constitutional provisions and as such, the same is the matter of high level scrutiny.

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Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan