The Supreme Court on Monday 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.
Jammu and Kashmir governor Satyapal Malik dissolved the state assembly on November 22 after Mehbooba Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its arch-rival National Conference (NC) teamed up with the Congress for a shot at government formation.
“We are not inclined to interfere (with the decision of the governor),” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justice SK Kaul said.
— National Herald (@NH_India) December 10, 2018
The plea, 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”.
“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.”
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 (BJP) and “more than 18” others.