Uttarakhand row: HC to hear petition on President’s rule today

  • Anupam Trivedi, Hindustan Times, Dehradun
  • Updated: Apr 06, 2016 13:29 IST
Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat and the Congress have challenged the imposition of President's rule in the state. The Union government in its reply maintained that the imposition was inevitable because of a “complete breakdown of constitutional machinery”. (PTI File Photo)

The political uncertainty in Uttarakhand could end when the high court hears the petition of the Congress challenging the imposition of President’s Rule in the state on Wednesday.

A double bench of Justice KM Joseph and Justice VK Bisht is likely to pronounce a decision on two separate petitions of Congress in the high court that objected to a floor test on March 31 and challenged the Centre’s appropriation ordinance.

Earlier this week, both the union government and Congress filed counter affidavits in the court. The Union government in its reply maintained that the imposition of President’s rule was inevitable because of a “complete breakdown of constitutional machinery”.

A single bench had on March 29 ordered a floor test for the Harish Rawat-led government. The union government filed an objection to it and the double bench stayed the floor test a day later. On the same day, Rawat filed a petition challenging the Centre’s appropriation ordinance for the state alleging that an ordinance on state finances after April 1 was aimed at justifying illegal imposition of President’s rule.

Advocates Abhishekh Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal will argue on behalf of the Congress while Nalin Kohli and solicitor general Mukul Rohtagi will represent the union government.

The nine Congress legislators, whose rebellion stoked the political deadlock, also challenged their ‘disqualification’ from the assembly in the high court. Their petition will be heard on April 11.

Read more | Uttarakhand: Rebel Cong MLAs ‘suspended’, BJP demands President’s Rule

Meanwhile political parties in the state are hoping that the court’s decision will come in their favour.

Stating the Congress had faith in the judicial system, state party president Kishor Upadhyay said, “We strongly feel that we will get justice against the arbitrary decision of Union government.”

The party accused the BJP of engineering a political coup and creating chinks in the Congress, allegations the BJP has denied.

While Congress legislators are camping in the neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and are waiting on the court’s decision to decide on its next course of action, the BJP is mulling its options to form government in the hill state.

“We have pressure of party colleagues to find out whether to form government. We are hopeful we will get the support of the majority of the legislators,” said Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, a BJP leader and front runner for the chief minister’s position.

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