The nine disqualified Congress legislators urged the Uttarakhand high court on Monday to stay their disqualification from the assembly, saying the Election Commission will declare their seats vacant and will conduct elections which would leave their plea infructuous.
“Even if we succeed in our endeavour then nothing would come out of it and this would only become an academic case,” said their counsel CA Sundaram.
The argument was made before the single bench of judge UC Dhyani, who is hearing their plea against disqualification by Speaker Govind Singh Kunwal.
Sundaram said if the order is not stayed, then the Election Commission would declare the seats as vacant and order elections.
After hearing arguments of the counsels of the rebel MLAs, the judge said the hearing would continue on Tuesday.
Sundaram said on March 18 a memo signed by the MLAs of the BJP and the nine Congress MLAs said the Harish Rawat government should be dismissed since he has lost the support of the people.
The counsel pointed out that in the Ravi Nayak case of Goa and the Jagjit Singh case, the MLAs had left the party on their own. Announcements had been made by the MLAs that they were leaving the party and joining another, which strengthened the case for their disqualification.
The matter had gone to the division bench and the SC ruling said when a MLA expresses his no confidence in the CM, then the CM has to prove majority. It is clear that the act of no confidence in the leadership does not amount to a MLA leaving the party, the court had said.
The judge had also observed that deserting the leader and deserting the government is not synonymous with deserting the party and that dissent was not defection.
Representing the disqualified Congress MLAs, counsel Dinesh Dwivedi said the speaker has said the Presidential proclamation was not brought to his notice that is why he disqualified the nine Congress MLAs after the proclamation, which was not justified.
Kapil Sibal, the counsel for the speaker, did not get a chance to put forth his arguments on Monday.