The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition challenging Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to dissolve the state Assembly, reported Bar and Bench. A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjay Kishan Koul said it was not inclined to interfere with the decision.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former RS Pura MLA Gagan Bhagat had filed the petition, saying Malik’s decision was “arbitrary and illegal” and contradicts his party’s position on the matter. Bhagat urged the top court to quash the governor’s directive and ask Malik “to hold the floor test”. The saffron party’s state president Ravinder Raina, however, described Bhagat’s move to file the petition “his individual decision”, The Indian Express reported.
On November 21, Malik had dissolved the state Assembly after the Peoples Democratic Party, the National Conference and the Congress proposed to stake a claim to form the government. People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone also attempted to stake claim the same day with the support of the BJP.
Malik has denied that he was following orders from the Centre. According to him, the Assembly was dissolved because of the “impossibility of forming a stable government by the coming together of political parties with opposing political ideologies”.
“The governor kept the Assembly in the suspended animation mode for five months and when parties claimed to form the government, he dissolved the Assembly,” Bhagat told Greater Kashmir. “If Mehbooba Mufti and Sajjad Lone had claimed that they had numbers to form the government, they should have been invited by the governor to prove their claim. This is what democracy is all about.”