Friday, September 30, 2022

Rajasthan crisis: Kapil Sibal, Ashwani Kumar and Salman Khurshid blame Governor of creating ‘avoidable constitutional impasse’

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Congress leaders and former Union law ministers Kapil Sibal, Ashwani Kumar and Salman Khurshid have written to Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra said that there has been “delay in convening the special session of the Rajasthan assembly” as advised by the council of ministers and it “has resulted in an avoidable constitutional impasse”.

In the letter written on Monday, the three Congress leaders said that any deviation from the established constitutional position in the present circumstances “would be an avoidable negation of your oath of office and will create a constitutional crisis”.

“The delay in convening the special session of the Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha as decided and advised by the council of ministers has resulted in an avoidable constitutional impasse. The position of the Governor, his role and limits, and circumscribed constitutional jurisdiction, have been elaborated by the Supreme Court by its seven-Judge bench judgment in the Shamsher Singh vs Union of India case in 1974 and more recently in the Nabam Rebia case in 2016,” they said.

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Kumar alleged there was an abuse of constitutional powers.

“To the best of my memory, there was not a single instance where the Governor refused to accept the recommendation of the state chief minister and the council of ministers, in a complete abuse of his constitutional powers. This will lead to the inter constitutional conflict,” he said.

“This undermines the basic parliamentary democracy and will raise issues arising out of breach of the Constitutional scheme and neglecting the constitutional morality for political purposes. Such kind of decisions by a high constitutional functionary does not auger well for our parliamentary democracy,” Kumar told ANI.

He said it is “an unprecedented case in the country that the Governor returned the recommendation of the Council of the ministers for convening the Assembly session for the second time”.

“The Congress will take this matter to the people’s court,” he said.

The Governor said on Saturday that Raj Bhavan never had an intention “not to call” the assembly session and asked the Ashok Gehlot government to deliberate on three points including a 21-day notice period for convening session and maintaining social distancing norms.

A Raj Bhavan release also referred to certain other conditions to be followed if Gehlot government, which is facing a crisis due to differences in the state Congress, wants to seek a trust vote.

The Raj Bhavan said a proposal was received from the state government to convene assembly sessions from July 31 and the Governor has said that the session should be called according to the constitutional provisions.

The release said that the statements from the state government make it clear that it wants to bring a trust vote but there is no mention of it in the proposal sent for convening the session.

It also said that if the state government wants to bring a trust vote, there can be a basis to call the session at a short notice.

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