Arunachal verdict: Cong salutes SC for protecting constitutional values

| Updated: Jul 13, 2016 19:15 IST

New Delhi, July 13 (ANI): The Congress Party on Wednesday welcomed the verdict ordering the restoration of Nabam Tuki-led government in Arunachal Pradesh and saluted the Supreme Court for protecting the values enshrined in the Constitution. Former union minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said the apex court has upheld constitutional values and the concept of institutional integrity. "And the Supreme Court has also sent a message that if there is a constitutional wrong committed they will ensure that the status quo is restored," Sibal told the media here. "I must salute the Supreme Court because for protecting the values that are in our Constitution, as it has discharged that duty admirably," he added. In a major setback to the BJP-ruled Centre, the apex court earlier today quashed "message and direction" issued by Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa and restored status quo as on December 15 when Congress' Nabam Tuki was the chief minister. A five-judge constitution bench pronounced the verdict on a bunch of petitions dealing with discretionary powers of the Governor to summon or advance the assembly session. Stating the Governor's direction on conducting assembly proceedings is unconstitutional, the apex court set aside all steps and decision taken by the legislative assembly pursuant to the Governor's December 9th last year order and said they are unsustainable. The Supreme Court had earlier in February reserved its judgement in the case for today. The apex court had said the verdict will not only have its effect on Arunachal Pradesh, but affect every state. Just before the court had reserved its verdict, rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul was sworn-in as the ninth Chief Minister of the state. He got the support of 18 dissident Congress MLAs and two independents, with 11 BJP MLAs giving him outside support. Arunachal Pradesh had been under President's Rule since January 26. Tuki-led Congress government was dismissed following days of turmoil after 21 of its 47 lawmakers rebelled against the chief minister. The Congress, which had 47 MLAs seats in the 60-member assembly, suffered a jolt when 21 of its lawmakers rebelled. Eleven BJP MLAs backed the rebels in the bid to upstage the government. Later, 14 rebel Congress MLAs were disqualified. (ANI)