New Delhi: In a big setback to the Centre, the Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed all orders given by Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa that had led to the fall of the Congress' government in the state in December last year.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice JS Khehar said that the Governor's decision to advance Arunachal Assembly session was violative of Article 163 of the Constitution.
Calling all decisions taken by the Arunachal Assembly after December 9 as unsustainable, the court ordered that status quo be restored as of December 15, 2015, when the Governor advanced the Assembly session.
It was on December 16 last year when 21 rebel Congress MLAs, including 14 disqualified a day earlier, joined hands with 11 of BJP and two independents to 'impeach' Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia at a makeshift venue, in a move branded as "illegal and unconstitutional" by the Speaker.
The impromptu session was chaired by Deputy Speaker T Norbu Thongdok.
27 MLAs in 60-member Assembly, including the Chief Minister and his ministerial colleagues, boycotted the proceedings.
A day later, in a bizarre turn of events, opposition BJP and rebel Congress MLAs congregated in a local hotel to "vote out" Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and to "elect" a rebel Congress MLA in his place but the Gauhati High Court intervened to keep in "abeyance" decisions taken at the rebel "session".
Following the crisis, the President, on advice of the Union Home Ministry, imposed President's Rule in the state on January 26, 2016.
Later in February, President’s rule was lifted to usher in a new dispensation headed by dissident Congress leader Kalikho Pul.
Reacting to the SC verdict, Nabam Tuki, who is all set to return as CM, said that the apex court has restored the rule of law in the state.