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Rawat govt revived; SC to resume hearing against Prez rule today

india Updated: Jul 12, 2016 13:04 IST
Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times

Harish Rawat addresses a press conference in Dehradun. (Photo by Vinay Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)

Two months after it revived the Congress-led government in Uttarakhand, the Supreme Court will on Tuesday resume hearing on Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s petition against President’s rule in the state.

“The issue of justifiability of the proclamation of President’s Rule that was made on March 27, 2016 which has been annulled by the impugned order passed by the High Court will remain alive…” a bench of justice Dipak Misra and justice Shiva Kirti Singh had said after declaring Rawat a winner in the May 10 trust vote.

Though the exercise will not have a direct bearing on the fate of Rawat government, a judicial finding upholding the legality of decision regarding imposition of the President’s rule can give the NDA government and the BJP a face-saver. But an adverse finding can further embarrass the Narendra Modi government.

Noting that the Uttarakhand High Court gave many a reason to arrive at the conclusion that the imposition of President’s rule was not tenable in law, the bench had said it needed to be scrutinised whether it was justified or not.

“We directed floor test on concession of the parties and we had varied the order today on a prayer being made by the Union of India,” it had clarified.

The top court had said it was required to be examined if within the scope of judicial review, such a finding could have been arrived at by the high court or if the decision arrived at to proclaim the President’s rule was justified.

The court – which had refused to allow nine disqualified rebel Congress MLAs to take part in the floor test – kept pending their petition challenging the May 9 decision of the Uttarakhand High Court upholding state assembly speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal’s decision to disqualify them.

The petition of disqualified MLAs will also be taken up for hearing on Tuesday, July 12. “What will be the effect, if in the ultimate eventuate case the disqualification is set at naught would be a matter of debate,” it had said.