SC Freezes Arunachal Assembly Proceedings

IAS Prelims 2023

The Supreme Court ordered a freeze on the holding of proceedings of the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly till January 18, 2016.

A Bench led by Justice J.S. Khehar passed the direction while agreeing to hear the various pleas arising out of orders passed by the Gauhati High Court in connection with the ongoing political duel between the ruling Congress on one side and rebel and BJP MLAs on the other.

“The instant order be placed by the parties, before His Excellency the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, for his consideration,” the order said.

The Bench further allowed Nabam Rebia, allegedly removed by 14 rebel Congress and BJP MLAs from the post of Assembly Speaker, to take back his plea filed against an administrative order passed by the Acting Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court.

Political Crisis in Arunachal over Special Session

On 9 December 2015, Arunachal Pradesh Governor J.P. Rajkhowa preponed the winter session of the state assembly.

Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee president Padi Richo said this amounted to the murder of democracy.

He said that his party would protest this move and boycott the session.

Arunachal CM Nabam Tuki also sought legal opinion on whether the governor was constitutionally empowered to take such decisions.


The CM of Arunachal Pradesh said he had written to the President, PM updating them on the turmoil in the state because of Governor’s unilateral decision and sought “their intervention in the political crisis that has gripped the state”.

16 Dec 2015

Arunachal assembly removes Speaker in a special session

In a special session convened by Arunachal Governor, the assembly passed an impeachment motion removing Speaker Nabam Rebia.

The motion was moved by a voice vote. The special session was conducted by Deputy Speaker TN Thongdok at a temporary location in Itanagar.

The motion was backed by 33 MLAs, which included 20 rebel Congress MLAs, 11 BJP leaders and two independents.

16 Dec 2015

Sonia Gandhi met President Pranab Mukherjee over the dispute between Arunachal CM, Governor and the developments in the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.

She sought the President’s intervention to preserve the sanctity of the Constitution.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad also said that the Governor “is behaving like a dictator. This is the most undemocratic thing that had not happened even during the British period”.

17 Dec 2015

A day after the Speaker’s removal, BJP and rebel Congress MLAs united to show “no confidence” in the Nabam Tuki-led Congress government.

A rebel Congress MLA Kalikho Pul was chosen as the new “chief minister”.

Since the Assembly premises had been sealed by Tuki’s party, the opposition and rebels Congress MLAs met at a conference hall of a hotel to take the decision.

17 Dec 2015

The Gauhati HC gave a stay order on all the decisions taken at the rebel “session” in Arunachal Pradesh.

The HC came down heavily on Governor J.P. Rajkhowa for allowing the removal of Speaker Nabam Rebia and the ousting of CM Tuki.

The court also put on hold the move to advance the winter session of the assembly until 1 February 2016.

18 Dec 2015

Arunachal Pradesh Congress while welcoming the Gauhati HC decision to stay the orders of Governor J P Rajkhowa, demanded his resignation on moral grounds.

Even in the Lok Sabha, Congress affiliates stormed the well commanding recall of the Arunachal Pradesh governor and chorusing slogans “stop dictatorship” and “dismiss the governor”.

The event led to a 2nd walkout by Congress on the Arunachal Pradesh issue.