The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed a status quo ante (a return to the original status) in Arunachal Pradesh as it prevailed on December 15, 2015, referring to the time before a rebellion in the Assembly created chaos in the state's political system and led to President's Rule being imposed there. The apex court bench also quashed the discretionary powers of the state's Governor to summon or advance the Assembly sessions in the state, reported ANI. This verdict is applicable not just to the state but the entire country.
With the landmark judgment, the Nabam Tuki-led Congress government stands reinstated in the state, and the President's Rule becomes void. It also means that dissident Congress leader Kalikho Pul, who was sworn in as the chief minister on February 20, will no longer hold the post.
The court also said that all orders passed by Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa after December 9, 2015, are unsustainable. The bench was hearing a petition filed against a Gauhati High Court verdict regarding Governor JP Rajkhowa's decision to bring forward the winter session of the Assembly without consulting Tuki.
Tuki welcomed the court's verdict and said, "A historic and remarkable judgement which was expected by the people of country." He said he will hold talks with party legislators and decide on the future course of action. " We will do whatever is required legally," he added. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi said, "Thank you Supreme Court for explaining to the Prime Minister what democracy is."
Congress leader Kapil Sibal adressed a press conference after the verdict and said, "This day will be written in golden words in the history of India." The party demanded an immediate resignation from Rajkhowa.
The verdict is a big blow to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party that had placed the state under President's Rule on January 26 after 21 Congress MLAs rebelled against the Tuki government. The saffron party, however, said it does not see the development as a setback for the BJP. Reacting to the verdict, the party said the crisis in the state had occurred because of internal conflicts in the ruling Congress.
The state government has been locked in a battle with Rajkhowa, claiming he is trying to destabilise their leadership in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party. A group of Congress leaders, including party President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, had led a delegation to President Pranab Mukherjee and lodged a protest against the governor after the upheaval began.