February 04, 2005

Goa Governor Jamir must go

Title: Jamir must go
Author: Editorial

Publication: Free Press Journal

Date: February 4, 2005

http://www.samachar.com/features/040205-editorial.html

The pity is they wouldn't dismiss the Governor of Goa for his
atrocious assault on the Constitution of India. Indeed, craven Congressmen
in the State and their masters in New Delhi might well be vying with
one another to felicitate S. C. Jamir for having dismissed the Manohar
Parrikar Government only a few minutes after it had established its
wafer-thin majority on the floor of the House, albeit in somewhat
controversial circumstances.

Politician Jamir, clearly, had not still graduated to being
Governor Jamir though he had duly acquired the trappings of that high office
after being sworn in `to protect and uphold the Constitution of India.'
Protect and uphold the Constitution he certainly did not do when in a
nocturnal coup late on Wednesday he not only dismissed the BJP-led
Government but, which was far worse, he duly installed a Congress Party
Government in its place.

Now, if Governor Jamir thought he had earned for himself a
promotion to the Raj Bhawan in Lucknow, he wouldn't be wrong. Once there, he
can repeat his ugly feat against the Mulayam Singh Government and
install a puppet government in its place and thus earn the eternal gratitude
of the Family for having paved the way for its return in the country's
largest State.

After the atrocity against the Constitution in Goa we trust
everyone has got the answer to the question as to why the great Shivjraj
Patil, Home Minister of India, no less, had previously dismissed the
Governors appointed by the Vajpayee Government. It pays to have puppets in
the Raj Bhawans, isn't it?

Admittedly, the Parrikar Government was in dire straits once it
got rid of a minister who was facing charges of corruption for
indiscriminately converting agriculture land into commercial for monetary
considerations. Upon his dismissal, the Independent legislator teamed up with
the opposition Congress Party, leading to the chain of events
culminating in the wholly unwarranted dismissal of the Parrikar Government.

Several constitutional experts have unequivocally condemned the
Governor's action, though it is unlikely that it would persuade Patil to
propose his removal. The floor of the House, numbers without time
higher courts have asserted, remains the only valid forum for testing the
majority, or the lack of it, of a government. But Jamir was innocent of
such basic information impinging on his gubernatorial duties and went
ahead to dismiss the Parrikar Government even after it had proved its
majority.

But having done that he did not stop there. He installed Pratap
Singh Rane as the new CM and the MLA who was disqualified by the Speaker
as his deputy. Nearly two decades ago, the Congress Party had dismissed
the NTR Government in somewhat similar circumstances, leading to a
chain of events which eventually led to the party's eclipse in large parts
of the country. For, the democratic game cannot be played without some
basic rules. And if the referee, in this case the Governor, joins one
team against the other, it can bring the whole game into disrepute.
Therefore, Jamir must go.




Goa trust vote : 'Jamir' exceeded his brief
Report by Prashant Hamine

Mumbai



The stunning action of Goa Governor S C Jamir in dismissing the BJP
government led by CM Manohar Parrikar which had won the trust vote in the
State Assembly on February 2 is being described by the legal experts
here as a case of one mistake being c omitted to rectify the earlier
mistakes. Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative assembly,
Narayan Rane on Thursday described the turn of events as a
broad-daylight murder of democracy.



A legal expert on conditions of anonymity remarked that the Goa
Governor cannot interpret or overrule the final outcome of the Trust Vote in
the Assembly. He argued that whatever the actions of the Goa Assembly
Speaker, Vishwas Satarkar would have been in taking action against
Philip Neri Rodrigues, (Independent), there is no legal provision in the
Constitution which can challenge the speaker's decision taken on the floor
of the House.



A case I point here was the suspension of membership of seven MLAs by
the then Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker, Arun Gujarathi on
June 13, 2002. The speaker then had suspended five NCP MLAs. The SC later
had restored their membership sans their voting rights. On June 13,
2002, during the one day special session of the Maharashtra Legislative
Assembly, the agenda before the house had stated thus this legislature
express full trust in the cabinet by CM Vilasrao Deshmukh. The then CM
had won the trust vote with 143 MLAs in favour and 133 against. .



According to article 212 of the Constitution the validity of any
proceeding in the Legislature of a State shall be called in question on the
ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure. It very clearly states
that the Presiding Officer of the Legislature of a state shall not be
subject to the jurisdiction of any court in respect of the exercise by
him of the powers vested in him b y the Constitution.



He Provisions of article 356 lay down that 'even if the Governor at any
time entertains doubts as the sitting Ministry's command over the
majority in the Assembly, he shall call the leader of the opposition to test
the majority. He cannot dismiss the sitting ministry only upon his
personal estimate.'



About article 164, SC observation in a related case of Mahabir vs
Praful Kumar Mohanta of 1969 had observed that whenever the Governor
entertains any doubt of majority in the sitting Ministry he should call the
Leader of Opposition to test the majority.



Experts add that it is only when the Leader of the House (CM) declines
to have a trust vote can the Governor step in to dismiss the incumbent
ministry. Here the Parrikar government had won the trust vote
how-so-ever controversial the circumstances in which the trust vote was won.
Experts say that the CM Parrikar had at no point of time, refused to under
the trust vote.

..

Besides, sources said that resignations of any MLA has to be submitted
to the Speaker first. Here the rebel members had handed over the
resignations to the Governor himself.



.

Legal experts term the dismissal of the Parrikar government as the
first unique case in the history of Parliamentary democracy in the country.
They point out that in the dismissal of S R Bommai government in
Karnataka , the governor had not only dismissed the incumbent government,
but also dissolved the legislature. In the landmark case the SC had not
only revived the dissolved assembly but also restored the elected
government.

Tarun Bharat in its edit had given the simile of Lady Macbeth's hand
which was described 'All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten these
little hands'.

Goa government had controlled corruption and progress and development
of the state was going ahead hand in hand. If the things go the way they
were, BJP will be popular in Goa and Congress will be decimated was the
fear of the leaders of the Congress and hence this step has been taken.
Sarkaria Commission had recommended that the majority of any government
should be decided on the floor of the assembly and SC had also given
its verdict on the same lines in the case of Nagaland.

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