President’s rule in Uttarakhand: SC to hear Centre’s petition today

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 27, 2016 14:08 IST
File picture of Harish Rawat, deposed chief minister of Uttarakhand. The Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear the Centre’s petition challenging the Uttarakhand high court’s ruling that quashed President’s rule in the state. (PTI File Photo)

The Supreme Court will on Wednesday resume hearing the Centre’s appeal against an Uttarakhand high court order revoking President’s rule in the state.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra – which had on Friday stayed till Wednesday the high court’s verdict reinstating the Harish Rawat government – will also decide whether there should be a floor test on April 29 as ordered by the high court.

The bench, also comprising justice Shiva Kirti Singh, said it was keeping the high court’s verdict in abeyance in absence of a copy of the verdict.

Read | All you need to know about President’s rule in Uttarakhand

“You don’t revoke President’s rule just like that. The files should have been called for. How much deliberation has gone into the issue? This is a serious matter,” the bench said.

The stay order that revived President’s rule in Uttarakhand, came after attorney general Mukul Rohatgi gave an undertaking that the Centre will not revoke President’s rule until April 27.

The apex court bench further indicated that the matter could be referred to a constitution bench.

An Uttarakhand high court division bench, headed by Justice KM Joseph, had revived the assembly and reinstated the Rawat Government on April 21.

The apex court had directed the high court to provide a copy of its order to all concerned by April 26. Dictated in open court, the order is yet to be signed by the judges who delivered it.

The high court however made public the 99-page ruling on Tuesday, stating the imposition of the rule was a “solitary event” that violated a constitutional provision.

Read | Uttarakhand High Court’s verdict pushes the boundary

Rawat’s government plunged into crisis after nine of his MLAs revolted and sided with the opposition BJP during a debate over the state budget in March. This prompted Governor KK Paul to ask Rawat to prove his majority in the assembly.

But a day before the trust vote, the Centre imposed President’s Rule on March 27, citing a breakdown in constitutional machinery in the state.

Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi alleged that there was a constitutional breakdown because Rawat indulged in corruption.

“Horse trading creates a dent in democracy,” the bench had remarked.

On behalf of Rawat, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi denied the allegations.

Arguing for the Uttarakhand assembly speaker, senior advocate Kapil Sibal objected to the interim order, saying it would amount to allowing the Centre’s appeal.

The SC had, however, refused to hear the nine rebel Congress legislators’ plea for transfer of their cases pending before the high court where they have challenged their disqualification.

Read | The story of Uttarakhand is a failure of six institutions

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