A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice JS Khehar today issued notice to the Union and the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh over the Congress party’s petition challenging the Central Government’s decision to impose President’s rule in the state of Arunachal Pradesh..On Monday, the Union Cabinet had recommended President’s rule in the state and this was subsequently approved by President Pranab Mukherjee on January 26. The issue gained steam after Senior Advocate Harish Salve, who had represented the Governor in an earlier hearing, had categorically stated that ‘no untoward decision’ shall be taken by the Governor before the Constitution Bench rules on the powers of the Governor, Speaker and the Deputy Speaker..The adjudication over these powers is the subject matter of another case pertaining to the removal of Arunachal Pradesh Speaker Nabam Rebia. .Today, in a packed courtroom Senior Advocates Fali S Nariman and Kapil Sibal appeared for the Petitioners and insisted upon the disclosure of the date when the recommendation for President’s Rule was made. This fact, they argued, was crucial to determine whether the Central Government had decided to ‘bypass’ the connected issues that were yet to be adjudicated in a court of law..Nariman argued,.“Where the Governor has previously stated that nothing untoward will be done during pendency of proceedings before this Constitution Bench, the date of recommending President’s Rule gains significance. .The problem is that there has been no adjudication by anyone. The knowledge of the date when this decision was taken, will also facilitate the necessary amendment in my petition.”.Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi was arguing before another Constitution Bench and was not in Court when the hearing began. He was requested to appear before the Bench and when he began arguing, he vehemently opposed the issuing of notice to the Union..“If Your Lordships want me to file a reply, I shall do so. I will file my affidavit in a couple of days but we need some breathing time. I have no papers with me. Their petition was filed three days ago and their prayer seeks furnishing of documents that led to the President’s decision. At that time, on January 24, the President’s Rule hadn’t even been declared! How is this petition even maintainable? It is infructous.”.Responding to this, Nariman retorted that the Attorney General of the country ought not to get into ‘technical issues’, seeing how the issue at hand was of constitutional importance..Not one to back down Rohatgi replied,.“Courts have and are governed by a set of rules and procedures. Should those rules not apply to your petition? The petition has not even annexed the Presidential proclamation. Where is the challenge and what are you challenging?”.After hearing these submissions, Justice Khehar addressed Rohatgi and said that ‘whatever be the worth of the petition’, the Union could file a reply accordingly. When Rohatgi remarked that he had read the petition only for a few minutes and needed some time to prepare his arguments, Khehar replied in jest that he had made a reputation of arguing in less than a minute, which evoked laughs from across the courtroom..As per the Court’s order, the Union and the Governor will now have to file their replies by January 29 pursuant to which the case will be heard on February 1.