The Supreme Court today declined to interfere with the dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly by Governor Satyapal Malik in mid-November. "We are not inclined to interfere (with the decision of the Governor)," a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul said, responding to a petition filed by BJP leader Gangan Bhagat, challenging the Governor's decision to dissolve the Assembly.
Gangan Bhagat represented the RS Pura constituency of Jammu in the recently dissolved Assembly.
In his petition, the BJP leader called the Governor's decision "arbitrary and illegal" and wanted the court to dismiss it and direct the Mr Malik to hold a floor test.
People's Conference chief Sajad Lone, with his two lawmakers, had staked claim earlier saying that he had the support of the BJP and 18 legislators from other parties.
The Governor's move to dissolve the state assembly came under strong criticism from senior National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti, who questioned the timing of the step.
The Governor had dissolved the state assembly after PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti had staked claim to form government with the help of National Conference and Congress.
Mr Malik, in a statement, had said that his action was prompted after reports of "extensive horse trading". He cited multiple reasons including the "impossibility of forming a stable government by the coming together of political parties with opposing political ideologies".
Jammu and Kashmir has been under Governor's Rule since June, when the BJP ended its ruling alliance with Ms Mufti, forcing her to resign. The Governor had kept the assembly in suspended animation instead of dissolving it, saying he didn't want lawmakers to stop receiving their constituency development funds.
Assembly elections will have to be held in Jammu and Kashmir within the next six months. Home Ministry sources say the polls may be held alongside the parliamentary polls in 2019.
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