The populist decisions taken by former chief minister Harish Rawat in two hurriedly convened cabinet meetings in a span of 24 hours after his government was reinstated following a high court verdict on April 21, will be rendered null and void, a senior official said on Saturday.
Following Supreme Court’s stay on high court verdict, all the decisions taken by the Harish Rawat cabinet on April 21-21, are bound to be declared null and void for the want of authority by them to take decisions officially, said a principal secretary rank official, who did not want to be named.
“The governor’s office did not receive the high court order till the time the former CM held two cabinet meetings and announced 11 populist decisions, including granting of Rs 3,100 pensions for identified statehood agitators,” he said.
Officials in the governor office said that the governor was not happy with the way Harish Rawat called the cabinet meetings in the absence of a formal high court order that reinstated his government on April 21.
Although the governor was informed about the high court’s verdict reinstating the Rawat government by a delegation of Congress legislators lead by Harish Rawat, the verdict was not formally approved in the absence of documents, they said.
“As a result the governor has no option but to assume it (the decisions) as declared null and void,” some of them said.
Meanwhile state BJP leadership demanded that action be taken against Harish Rawat for holding the cabinet meetings.
“Why was Harish Rawat in such a tearing hurry to preside over the cabinet meetings thwarting constitutional norms?” questioned BJP leader Satpal Maharaj.
“Even when the high court ordered to reinstate the state government what was the compulsion for the cabinet meetings? Rawat had no locus standi for taking important decision and the governor must take notice of this,” he said.
State BJP president Ajay Bhatt, too said that the governor must take legal action against Harish Rawat and his cabinet colleges for holding cabinet meeting.
“The cabinet meetings were in clear violation of Article 357(2) that disallows any type of policy decision under the circumstances in which the decisions were taken by the Harish Rawat government,” said Bhatt after lodging a complaint with the governor about the Rawat’s cabinet meetings.