Jammu & Kashmir

‘No merit’: Supreme Court of India dismisses ex-BJP MLA’s plea challenging JK assembly dissolution

Srinagar: The Supreme Court of India on Monday dismissed a plea challenging the dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly as per an order by JK Governor Satya Pal Malik moments after mainstream regional parties Naional Conference, Peoples’ Democratic Party and the JK unit of the Congress staked a claim to form the government.

The CJI Bench headed by Ranjan Gogoi dismissed the plea saying there was ‘no merit’ in it. The plea, which had been moved by former BJP MLA Dr Gangan Bhagat, termed the Governor’s decision as “arbitrary and illegal” and wanted the apex court to quash it with a direction to the Governor “to hold the floor test”.

The petition has embarrassed the BJP, which has supported the Governor’s decision. BJP’s state president Ravinder Raina has termed Bhagat’s petition “his individual decision”.

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“It is the constitutional convention to invite parties claiming majority to prove it on the floor of the house by holding floor test. The Governor has no power, whatsoever, to deny such an opportunity to such parties by dissolving the assembly in haste and without following the democratic process,” the petition said.

“PDP being the single largest party which claimed the majority with the support of other parties (should have been) invited by the Governor to prove majority by holding floor test. The Sarkaria Commission report specifically dealt with the situation where no single party obtained absolute majority.”

JK Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone had also staked the claim for government formation. The Guv’s order post-dissolution stated that there had been horse-trading among parties.

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