The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to dissolve the state assembly and impose Governor’s rule.
“We are not inclined to entertain,” said a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjay Krishan Kaul as senior counsel Jaideep Gupta told the bench that Malik dissolved the assembly even though there were two letters before him staking claim to form the government.
Appearing for Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Gagan Bhagat in the now dissolved House, Gupta referred to an earlier judgment of the top court which said that Governor should have made every effort to examine if a government can be formed before exercising the extreme option of dissolving the elected assembly.
In a day of swift political developments, Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly in the evening of November 21, shortly after PDP leader and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti faxed a letter to him staking claim to form government in the state with with the backing of rival National Conference and the Congress.
Mehbooba Mufti had written a letter to the Governor claiming support of 56 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly.
Shortly after the PDP, Congress and NC formalised an alliance to stake claim to form government in Jammu and Kashmir, and Mufti sent the letter, Peoples Conference leader Sajad Lone, with support from the BJP, too reportedly wrote to Governor Malik countering the move.
Highly placed sources said dissolution of Assembly had been ordered following hectic consultations with the Ministry of Home Affairs at the Centre and others.
The Governor dissolved the Assembly with immediate effect considering four main aspects, including “extensive horse-trading” and the “impossibility” of forming a stable government by coming together of political parties with “opposing political ideologies”, the Raj Bhavan said in a statement Wednesday night.
The state has been under the Governor’s rule since 19 June when the PDP-BJP coalition government fell as the latter withdrew support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led alliance regime. The then Governor NN Vohra, while imposing Governor’s rule, did not dissolve the Assembly.
(With inputs from IANS)