Supreme Court asks BJP, Congress if they would form Delhi government
The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the BJP and the Congress asking them whether they were willing to explore the possibility of forming an alternate government in Delhi.
A bench of Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice N.V. Ramana issued notice as it was told that the entire justification for keeping the Delhi assembly under suspended animation was with an eye to possible defections in the existing legislative party groups of different political parties.
On the court's direction, the Aam Aadmi Party counsel was provided with the copy of Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung's report sent to the central government following the recommendation of the dissolution by the Arvind Kejriwal government.
The court directed the listing of the matter March 31.
The court was told by senior counsel Fali Nariman appearing for the AAP that once the assembly has been placed under suspended animation, it will remain so for one year, depriving people of Delhi of a popular democratically elected government and instead leaving them governed by bureaucrats.
"If suspended animation continues for one year.. then in a peculiar situation it would be harmful to the democracy," observed Justice Lodha as he asked Nariman why defection was being seen as the only basis for the formation of any future government in Delhi.
He said that there could be a possibility where one party is forming government with another's support.
Pointing to the prevailing political situation, Justice Lodha said the Nationalist Congress Party was supporting Congress-led UPA government at the central level whereas the same party was sitting in opposition to Congress in some northeastern states.
Referring to the sequence of events that happened in Delhi assembly, Justice Lodha said that "the way thing have happened in Delhi assembly, noting is impossible. Two parties (Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party) which can't meet at one platform can still meet at another platform (on not allowing the introduction of Jan Lokpal Bill) and still on another issue (passage of demand for grants), all are on the same page".
As Attorney General G.E.Vahanvati told the court that order placing the assembly under suspended animation could be revoked earlier also, Nariman noted the ground reality.
While Nariman quoted Feb 14 statement of the then leader of opposition that BJP would not stake any claim to form the government and was ready for election any day, Vahanvati referred to the Rajya Sabha proceedings when BJP member M. Venkaiah Naidu said that the possibility of forming an alternate government could not be ruled out.
The AAP has challenged the presidential proclamation of keeping the Delhi assembly in suspended animation as the Kejriwal government had recommended the assembly's dissolution.
As the court asked Nariman to frame questions arising from the AAP petition for the court's consideration, he said that now they are being told by the Attorney General that there were reasons for keeping Delhi assembly under suspended animation, then they should be disclosed for their judicial determination.
Senior counsel Shanti Bhushan urged the court to consider the question whether a recommendation for the dissolution of assembly by a government enjoying majority support in the legislatures could be ignored by the Lt. Governor while making recommendation to the central government.
(Posted on 07-03-2014)