Written by Nathasha De Alwis
11 Dec, 2018 | 8:18 pm
Colombo (News1st): In a backdrop where in Sri Lanka the dissolution of parliament has been temporarily suspended after the matter was questioned before the country’s judiciary, a similar situation was reported in India.
The Indian Apex court delivered its verdict on an application filed against the dissolution of an elected chamber in Jammu Kashmir. The Supreme Court dismissed a petition challenging the Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to dissolve the state assembly, saying there was no merit in the pleas filed by former BJP legislator Gagan Bhagat.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justice SK Kaul said “We are not inclined to interfere (with the decision of the governor),”
Senior counsel Jaideep Gupta, appearing for the ex-Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Bhagat, said that Malik dissolved the assembly even though there were two letters before him staking claim to form the government. Gupta referred to an earlier judgment of the top court which said that a governor should have made every effort to examine if a government can be formed before exercising the extreme option of dissolving the elected assembly.
The state assembly, which was in suspended animation, was abruptly dissolved by Malik on November 22, hours after the People’s Democratic Party staked a claim to form a government with the backing of arch rival National Conference and the Congress with the support of 56 legislators in the 87-member assembly.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti wrote to the governor that her party, which has 29 MLAs, was backed by the NC and Congress with 15 and 12 legislators, respectively. This was followed by another bid from the People’s Conference led by Sajjad Lone, saying it had the support of 25 legislators belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party and “more than 18” others.
The dissolution was announced by Malik in a communique released by the Raj Bhavan. The state assembly’s tenure was till October 2020.
The six-month tenure of the governor’s rule ends on December 18. This will be followed by the President’s rule.
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