oppn parties President's Rule, Judiciary and the Congress Party

News Snippets

  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
  • Trust vote in Karnataka assembly today. With rebel MLAs deciding to stay away after the SC order, the Congress-JD(S) government is likely to fall as it does not have the numbers
  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
  • Pakistan opens its airspace for Indian planes
  • Dilapidated building collapses in Mumbai, killing more than 10 people while many were still trapped
  • Kulbhushan Jadhav case verdict to be delivered today by the ICJ
  • A Vistara flight landed in Lucknow with just 5 to 10 minutes of fuel left in the tank
  • Supreme Court to decide on Karnataka MLAs plea today
  • Karnataka alliance to face floor test on Thursday
  • China says that the next Dalai Lama will be appointed by it
International Court of Justice agrees with India, stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution. It asks Pakistan to allow consular access to the accused.
oppn parties
President's Rule, Judiciary and the Congress Party

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Was the single bench of high court justified in ordering a floor test vis-a-vis the imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand? Noted constitutional expert Soli Sorabjee is of the opinion it was not. Sorabjee says that “it is incomprehensible how a floor test can be ordered when a presidential proclamation is in force and the assembly is in suspended animation.” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi used the same words before a division bench of the high court to obtain a stay against the floor test.

That is the crux of the matter. While the Supreme Court has held that imposition of President’s rule is subject to judicial review, it is the actual imposition that can be challenged and the courts can decide if there actually was a failure of constitutional machinery in the state. The floor test can happen once the imposition is set aside. It is strange that the judge ordered a floor test without first ruling that the said imposition was bad in law. That is the legal position.

Politically, the Congress high command first erred in Arunachal and repeated the mistake in Uttarakhand. When a sizeable number of state MLA’s keep raising issues, a party like the Congress, which strictly follows the high command structure denying democracy to its state units, should step in to quell rebellion. Time and again, rebels from Congress ruled states complain that they do not get access to Rahul or Sonia. This state of affairs forces them to go against high command nominated CM’s.

The Congress has a long history of state leaders rebelling against rootless CM’s imposed by the high command in order to protect the “dynasty.” State leaders were often accommodated at the Centre or given plum party posts. But since it is no longer ruling in Delhi, that luxury is not available any more. There will be more rebellions and the Congress has to come up with solutions fast. With governments in states ruled by it reduced to a minority, blaming the BJP every time for engineering defections will not do. It has to set its own house in order.