Onkar Singh in New Delhi
The Union government and the Jammu and Kashmir government are heading for a confrontation on the issue of imposition of Governor's rule before the assembly election in September this
While the Centre favours Governor's rule before the election, the National Conference government is opposing any such move tooth and nail.
Speaking to rediff.com, a senior functionary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh said the Union government has 'no choice' but to impose to the Governor's rule in the state before the election.
"Prime Minister Vajpayee has promised to hold free and fair election in Jammu and Kashmir. This promise cannot be redeemed unless we have Governor's rule in the state," he said.
Newly appointed president of the National Conference Omar Abdullah told newsmen in Srinagar that the imposition of the Governor's rule in the state would be contrary to the constitutional
provisions and democratic norms.
"The only scenario in which Governor's rule could be imposed in Jammu and Kashmir was after a recommendation to that effect by the state government," Omar Abdullah said.
Former judge of Jammu and Kashmir high court, Justice Moti Lal Bhat, told rediff.com that it is not correct to assume that the Governor's rule in the state could be imposed only after a recommendation from the state government.
"Tell me which state government would say that the Union government should remove it and impose Governor's rule in the state whether it is for the purpose of holding free and fair election in the state or any other reason," he said.
A constitutional expert, Justice Bhat strongly feels that Article 356 can be invoked even if the three prime conditions for application -- break down of the constitutional machinery, financial crisis or a threat of foreign aggression -- are not present.
"There are corresponding provisions in the Jammu and Kashmir constitution as well under which governor can impose his rule," Justice Bhat said.
Bhim Singh, chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party and a Supreme Court lawyer, supports Justice Bhat's arguments.
"Let me remind Dr Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah that section 92 of Jammu and Kashmir constitution has vested unlimited and subjective power in the governor of J&K to dismiss the state government and impose Governor's rule for a period of six months. The Governor's rule can be extended for another period of six months by the Parliament as it was done from 1990-1996," Bhim Singh told rediff.com.
He wondered how Omar Abdullah could 'dare to make a statement' that imposition of President's rule in Jammu and Kashmir would 'reflect poorly on the credibility of Indian democracy and could raise uncomfortable questions about the entire democratic system and the rule of the law in the state'.
"There is a total anarchy in Jammu and Kashmir and a situation has arisen in which the state government cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of J&K constitution. This is
sufficient ground for the dismissal of the National Conference government to save the state from further destruction," Singh said.
Professor Rias Punjabi, a noted academician associated with the Jawaharlal Nehru University felt that despite the constitutional provisions in the Indian Constitution and the constitution of J&K
the Union government is in no position to dismiss the Farooq Abdullah government.
"The law and order machinery has not broken down. Unless the state government recommends dissolution of the house the governor cannot impose President's rule. The term of the present government expires on October 8. After the term is over the governor is free to ask either the state government to continue or take over the administration himself," he said.
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