The Gauhati High Court on Thursday issued a notice of motion returnable for January 4 to Arunachal Pradesh Speaker and all 43 former Congress MLAs switching sides on a petition challenging the validity of the merger of Congress’ state unit with People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA).
Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee chief Padi Richo filed the writ petition in the high court bench here.
“Let notice of motion be issued calling upon the respondents to show cause as to why a Rule should not be issued as prayed for, and/or why such further orders or other orders should not be passed as to this court may deem fit and proper. The notice is made returnable by January 4, 2017,” Justice Michael Zothankhuma said.
After hearing the argument of Congress lawyers including K C Mittal, the bench issued notice to Pema Khandu (present chief minister) and other 42 MLAs who claim to have merged with PPA.
“Also issue notice on the interim prayer,” the court said. It issued notice for consideration on the interim relief for stay of the Speaker’s order dated September 16 by which all the MLAs have been shown as PPA members and the bulletin dated September 16 issued by the Secretary of the Legislative Assembly notifying them as PPA’s members.
The petitioner submitted that there is no merger of state unit of Congress. He said the election law also does not permit merger of state unit of the national party to state party, as intimated by the EC, to the president of AICC, as per the election symbol (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
The petitioner also prayed that the order of the Speaker stated has to be without jurisdiction and illegal.
Khandu, who was the chief minister of Congress, changed his party on May 16 and he along with 42 MLAs claimed to have merged with PPA. He was subsequently elected as a leader of PPA Legislative Party. This was accepted by the Speaker and they were notified as PPA members in “Assembly Bulletin”, the petition said.