Arunachal Governor Rajkhowa removes top law officers

Arunachal Pradesh Governor J.P. Rajkhowa has terminated the services of Advocate General Ranji Thomas and Additional Advocate General R.H. Nabam, Raj Bhavan said on Tuesday.

Arunachal Pradesh Governor Rajkhowa. Twitter/@KalrajMishra

Arunachal Pradesh Governor Rajkhowa. Twitter/@KalrajMishra

"In exercising of power conferred to him under Article 165(3) of the Constitution of India, the governor withdrew his pleasure with respect to appointment of Thomas as advocate general and Habam as additional advocate general of the State," Raj Bhavan spokesperson Atum Potom said in a statement.

On Monday, Rajkhowa had said he was "nobody's agent" and that Raj Bhavan was not the headquarters of the BJP or the RSS.

Within a few hours of Rajkhowa letting go two top law officers, The Indian Express reports that a top retired IPS officer - Y S Dadwal, who joined last week has resigned because of "personal reasons". Y S Dadwal, a 1974-batch IPS officer, has earlier served as Delhi Police Commissioner.

Rajkhowa had sent out a message this week saying people could refer complaints to the governor’s secretariat and the two advisors between whom various departments have been clearly distributed -- retired IAS officer GS Patnaik and retired IPS officer YS Dadwal, who joined as advisors barely a week ago.

SC recalls notice to Arunachal Governor

The Arunachal Pradesh political crisis took a dramatic turn when the Supreme Court accepted the Centre’s plea and recalled a notice issued to the state's governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa. The decision was taken under Article 361 which states that the governor and the President would not be answerable to any court in the exercise of powers and duties of office. Their conduct can however be reviewed by court.

The notice was recalled after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi pointed to the constitutional position of the high office. Though the court initially stressed that the court could issue notice which the Governor could choose not to respond to, it finally decided to recall the notice issued on the last day of hearing.

At the same time, the Supreme Court also issued a notice on former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki’s fresh plea protesting President's Rule in the state.

On 26 January, President Pranab Mukherjee accepted the Cabinet’s recommendation and imposed President’s Rule in the politically unstable state. The Congress, that was in power at the state, protested President’s Rule being imposed before the matter was heard by the Supreme Court.

Rajkhowa submitted a report to the Cabinet recommending President’s Rule and the Congress filed a petition challenging it in the Supreme Court. The Centre then on Friday submitted in the Supreme Court its response to Congress’ petition, in pursuance to the constitution bench's 27 January direction asking it to do so.

Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Madan B Lokur, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and Justice NV Ramana, hearing a bunch of pleas challenging the role of governor in the ongoing political crisis in Arunachal Pradesh, had then posted the matter for Monday.

On 27 January, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had told the court that while deciding to impose President's rule in Arunachal Pradesh, the central government had relied upon the governor's report and other inputs.

Rajkhowa on 28 January submitted to the Supreme Court, in a sealed cover, his reports to the Central government on the political crisis in the northeastern state including the one in which he recommended President's Rule be imposed.

With IANS inputs

Updated Date: Feb 03, 2016 03:04 AM

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