The Union government on Monday responded to the Nainital high court in connection with former chief minister Harish Rawat’s petition on why President’s Rule was imposed in Uttarakhand.
SK Bhalla, director of Union ministry of home affairs, in his reply through assistant solicitor general Rakesh Thapliyal said the jurisdiction to invoke Article 356 lay solely with the President on the aid and advice of the Union cabinet.
“The President has exercised his said jurisdiction and authority after duly considering all relevant material, including the Governor’s report, communication and other information, which inevitably established that there has been a complete failure/breakdown of the constitutional machinery,” the affidavit read.
It also said the leader of Opposition, Ajay Bhatt, requested governor KK Paul March 18 that 27 party MLAs wished to have division of votes on the Appropriation Bill. The governor, however, was out of station at the time.
“The governor had asked his secretariat to receive the representation and forward to the Speaker. It was also directed that the audio and video recordings of the proceedings of the House should also be obtained from the Speaker,” Bhalla said.
Rawat challenged the Centre’s appropriation ordinance for the state, alleging that an ordinance on state finances after April 1 was unconstitutional and aimed at justifying illegal clamping of the Centre’s rule in Uttarakhand.
The court deferred the date of hearing to April 6, and asked the Union government and Rawat to file their rejoinder by April 5.