The Supreme Court on Friday referred to the order of Andhra Pradesh High Court as ‘disturbing’ that had sought YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government’s response on whether there is a situation of ‘constitutional breakdown’ in the State.
The bench headed by the Chief Justice of India S A Bobde issued a notice on the petition which will be listed after the Christmas vacation. While referring to the High Court’s order, the SC bench asserted “In any case, have you seen an order like this? As an apex court, we find it disturbing. Issue notice, stay. List immediately after vacation.”
Andhra Pradesh High Court order
Earlier on 1st October, while hearing around 14 habeas corpus petitions filed by detained individuals, the Andhra Pradesh High Court asked the counsel appearing on behalf of the State to come prepared to “assist the court as to whether in circumstances, which are prevailing in the State of Andhra Pradesh, the court can record a finding that there is a constitutional breakdown in the State or not.”
Further, the Division Bench of High Court led by Justice Rakesh Kumar rejected an application filed by the State Government seeking a recall of the said order.
“I’m not allowing anyone to challenge my order in front of me…one may go to Supreme Court,” the Justice Rakesh Kumar had remarked during the course of hearing of the State’s recall application.
Therefore, the Andhra Pradesh government approached the Supreme Court challenging this order contending that it impinges the doctrine of separation of powers since it is the President who is empowered to go into question of “breakdown of Constitutional machinery” under Article 356 and not the judiciary.
The AP Government before the top court has submitted that “this is a power exclusively vested in the Executive and cannot be exercised by the Judiciary.”
Article 356 of the Constitution deals with the failure of constitutional machinery in a State. Under Article 356 if the President of India, on receipt of the report from the Governor of a State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, he can impose President’s Rule.