DIMAPUR, July 18 - In a major embarrassment for Nagaland Chief Minister Dr Shürhozelie Liezietsu, the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court today dismissed his writ petition filed on July 14 challenging the directive of Governor PB Acharya asking him to obtain a vote of confidence on the floor of the State Assembly. The Court also vacated its interim order passed on July 14 staying the directive of the Governor to the Chief Minister on July 11 and 13 to conduct a floor test on or before July 15.
Following the Court verdict, Governor Acharya directed Speaker Dr Imtiwapang Aier to summon an emergent special session of Nagaland Assembly at 9.30 am tomorrow to test the majority support of the present Cabinet led by Liezietsu. The High Court Bench observed that the Governor had taken the right decision to ask the Chief Minister to obtain a vote of confidence on the floor of the House to see which out of the two contesting claimants of Chief Ministership has a majority in the House.
Rebel NPF MLAs led by former CM TR Zeliang yesterday claimed the support of 37 MLAs out of the 47 NPF MLAs. On July 8, Zeliang staked claim to form the new government with majority support.
After considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court found that there was no merit in the writ petition filed by Liezietsu and dismissed the same accordingly.
In its order, the Court said it is of the considered opinion that the contention of the senior counsel for the petitioner that there has been violation of Rule 3 of the Conduct of Business is premature and therefore, not tenable.
The Court also rejected the contention of the senior counsel that sufficient time should be given to the petitioner to obtain the vote of confidence on the floor of the House after the by-election to be held on July 29. It left the matter to the wisdom of the Governor to take a decision after proper application of mind.
In his petition, Liezietsu argued that the decision of the Governor asking him to conduct a floor test on or before July 15 was “ex-facie unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary and violative of the basic features of the Constitution.”
Liezietsu is contesting the by-election from Northern Angami - I Assembly seat from which his son Parliamentary Secretary Khriehu Liezietsu resigned to make way for his father.