New Delhi, Feb 4: The Supreme Court cannot be "a mute spectator when democracy is slaughtered," said judges who are deciding whether Arunachal Pradesh should be governed by the Centre for now.
On January 26, the north eastern state was placed under President's Rule with the Centre arguing that there was a constitutional breakdown and a growing law and order problem on account of the Congress government's poor governance.
The Congress has challenged that decision in the Supreme Court, accusing the Centre of trying to "murder democracy".
Today's remarks by the judges were made in the context of a group of BJP legislators from Arunachal Pradesh who contend that the decision on President's Rule was cleared by Governor JP Rajkhowa and his decisions cannot be questioned because he has constitutional immunity.
Last week, the Supreme Court accepted that it had erred by ordering the Governor to submit the report which he had sent to the Union government in which he laid down the reasons for calling for President's Rule. The Centre argued that a governor is not answerable to courts for a decision made in his official capacity, which was accepted by the top court.
Over the last year, Nabam Tuki as Chief Minister was unable to tamp down a growing dissidence within legislators of the Congress party, half of whom finally decided to team up with the opposition BJP in calling for his removal in December at sessions held at a community hall and a hotel.
The Centre says that the state legislature had not met for over six months- a constitutional requirement - so the Governor correctly allowed those off-site meetings because the assembly building had been locked up by the Chief Minister's camp.
The Congress says no assembly session can be called without the Chief Minister and his cabinet being involved in the process.