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SC issues notice to Centre over Arunachal issue

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the central government and Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa on a plea challenging the imposition of President’s Rule in the north-eastern state on January 26.

An apex court constitution bench of Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and Justice N.V. Ramana also ordered the centre to file its response, if any, by January 29 and directed further hearing in the matter on Monday (February 1).

The court recorded that senior counsel Satya Pal Jain, appearing for Governor Rajkhowa, “undertakes to furnish a copy of the governor’s report and other material recommending issuance of a proclamation under Article 356 of the Constitution of India, to the court in a sealed cover”.

The court directed that the “original record be kept available by the attorney general during the hearing”.

The court gave liberty to the petitioner, Congress chief whip in Arunachal Pradesh Rajesh Tacho, to amend the plea to “assail the report of the governor, and the consequential (presidential) proclamation”.

The court directed that Tacho be provided, during the course of the day, the date on which Rajkhowa sent a report recommending the imposition of President’s Rule.

At the outset of the hearing, senior counsel Fali S. Nariman told the apex court that ever since the last hearing on February 22, Arunachal Pradesh had been put under President’s Rule and two advisors appointed to assist the governor in running the affairs of the state.

Seeking the date on which the governor recommended the imposition of President’s Rule, Nariman said senior counsel Harish Salve, who appeared for the governor, told the court on January 14 that nothing untoward would be done to precipitate the situation.

Describing as “crucial” the date on which President’s Rule recommendation was sent by Rajkhowa, senior counsel Kapil Sibal sought to know the grounds and material relied upon by the governor while making the recommendations.

Opposing the plea, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that the governor’s report was confidential and could not be shared with petitioner Tacho. However, he said, it could be shared with the bench.

Nariman contested Rohatgi’s plea that the governor’s report was confidential as he cited an earlier seven-judge bench judgment in former Karnataka chief minister late S.R. Bommai’s case, wherein the court said that the governor’s report was not confidential.

Justice Lokur confronted the attorney general with the apex court judgment wherein the governor’s report was reproduced.

The presidential proclamation mentions “a” report by the governor, Justice Ramana pointed out as Rohatgi said there were a series of reports by Governor Rajkhowa.

“Whatever is the worth of this petition (by Rajesh Tacho), you reply. You may accept it or you may not accept it,” the court observed as the AG contested the maintainability of the plea challenging the cabinet decision to recommend President’s Rule.

Contending that the cabinet recommendation was immune from challenge, Rohatgi said that unless there is an order, decree or a crystallised situation, you can’t challenge it.

As the AG told the court that there was no challenge to the presidential proclamation in the matter before the court, Nariman said the attorney general could not be technical in his approach.

Rohatgi said it was not a question of his getting technical but every proceeding of the court is governed by rules and procedures.

The Congress on January 25 moved the Supreme Court challenging the cabinet decision to impose President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh on the recommendation of Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa.

The union cabinet on January 24 decided to impose President’s Rule. (IANS)

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SC Warned Amrapali Directors, says “Would Be Rendered Homeless If Tried To Play Smart”

The company Directors were asked to file affidavits within 15 days listing their movable and immovable properties.

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The apex court directed the company to furnish details on how it intends to arrange Rs 5,112 crore. Wikimedia Commons
The apex court directed the company to furnish details on how it intends to arrange Rs 5,112 crore. Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Directors of the Amrapali Group to file details of all their movable and immovable assets along with valuation, and warned them that they would be rendered homeless if they tried “to play smart.”

A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice U.U. Lalit clarified that all the properties of the directors would be sold if the company failed to raise Rs 5,112 crore required to complete its unfinished housing projects.

The apex court directed the company to furnish details on how it intends to arrange Rs 5,112 crore.

The company Directors were asked to file affidavits within 15 days listing their movable and immovable properties.

"Don't burden the home-buyers. Don't try to be smart. Tell your Directors also," the bench told the counsel. Wikimedia Commons
“Don’t burden the home-buyers. Don’t try to be smart. Tell your Directors also,” the bench told the counsel. Wikimedia Commons

When the company’s counsel Gaurav Bhatia told the court that home-buyers will also pay to help it raise Rs 5,112 crore, the court said: “The home-buyers will not pay a penny.”

“Don’t burden the home-buyers. Don’t try to be smart. Tell your Directors also,” the bench told the counsel.

“Tell us how you intend to arrange the money? Otherwise, you will be rendered homeless,” the bench said.

The court told the Directors that as they had made buyers wait for their homes, they will also search for their homes if they don’t submit the plan to arrange for money for the unfinished projects.

“Days are not away when you (Directors) will compel us to do this. If necessary, we will take every strip (of land) if you compel us. Next time, come (to the court) with the proposal,” the top court observed.

The real estate group is yet to hand over possession of flats to around 40,000 home-buyers. Wikimedia Commons
The real estate group is yet to hand over possession of flats to around 40,000 home-buyers. Wikimedia Commons

When the court was told that electricity supply at two projects of Amrapali — Zodiac and Silicon Valley — has been disconnected, it ordered the power companies concerned to restore electricity by Wednesday itself.

The court posted the matter for August 14.

On August 1, the court slammed the Amrapali Group for playing “fraud and dirty games” with it and ordered freezing of bank accounts of all the Directors of its 40 firms, besides attaching their personal properties.

Public sector undertaking National Building Construction Corporation was also directed to take over all 16 unfinished projects of the Amrapali Group.

The real estate group is yet to hand over possession of flats to around 40,000 home-buyers.

Also Read: Supreme Court seeks Centre’s response on plea challenging polygamy, nikah halala

The apex court has been hearing a batch of pleas filed by home-buyers who have sought quashing of the National Company Law Tribunal order to admit insolvency proceedings against the Amrapali Group.

The buyers belong to low and middle income groups and must be granted equal protection as other stakeholders, the financial and operational creditors, the home buyers’ plea said. (IANS)