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SC to scan ‘suspended animation’ decision

New Delhi, Feb. 25: The Supreme Court yesterday decided to examine the constitutional validity of the President’s decision to keep Delhi Assembly under “suspended animation” after the Arvind Kejriwal government fell.

A bench of Justices R.M. Lodha and Dipak Misra, however, refused to issue any notices to the Congress and the BJP as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had requested.

“Mr Nariman, this is a constitutional issue, we want your assistance. We will examine the constitutional issue involved in the matter. But we don’t want any debate or contest on politics,” Justice Lodha said.

Senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for the AAP, pleaded that notices be issued to the Congress and the BJP as they were also involved in the constitutional issue.

But the bench said: “We do not find any necessity for making these respondents as parties to the dispute. We would like to examine only the constitutional issue.”

The bench made the observation while granting two weeks to the Union government to file its response on the AAP’s petition questioning the decision of the President not to dissolve the Assembly.

Nariman said the President could not have kept the Assembly under suspended animation, particularly when both the BJP and the Congress had declared their inability to form any alternative government after the resignation of Kejriwal.

In a petition filed through Kamini Jaiswal, the AAP said that on February 14, after Kejriwal resigned, the BJP had declared that it would not stake claim to form the government as it did not have requisite majority.

Despite the Delhi government clearly recommending dissolution of the Assembly, the lieutenant governor apparently sent a report to the President for placing the House in suspended animation, the AAP said.

The party wants dissolution of the Assembly and conduct of fresh polls along with the general election.

In its petition, the AAP said the decision to keep the Assembly in suspended animation was taken to protect the alleged corruption of several persons, including former chief minister Sheila Dikshit.