SC to hear plea seeking quashing of president’s rule in Uttarakhand

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New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court is likely to hear next week a plea seeking quashing of president’s rule in Uttarakand and a CBI probe into the allegations of horse-trading in the ongoing political imbroglio in the hill state.

A bench headed by Chief Justice T.S.Thakur said that the plea would be taken up next week after petitioner, advocate M.L.Sharma mentioned it for an early hearing.

Seeking the quashing of the Presidential proclamation, Sharma has questioned how could the council of ministers recommend the imposition of the president’s rule when Governor K.K.Paul had already directed then chief minister Harish Rawat to go for floor test on March 28.

He further contended that could Uttarakhand be placed under president’s rule, once the governor, following the apex court constitution bench’s March 11, 1994 judgment in the S.R.Bommai’s case, had asked Rawat to prove his majority on the floor of the assembly on March 28.

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In the Bommai case, the apex court constitution bench had held that the majority of the government could only be tested on the floor of the assembly.

The apex court had further held that it could not go into the advice tendered by the council of ministers to the president but it could examine the material on which the president in exercise of the powers under the constitution’s article 356 places a state under president’s rule.

Sharma said that the constitution bench had held that court can examine if there was a malafide use of power under Article 356.

He has also sought direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation to register an FIR and to investigate the role of cash and kind in the entire political imbroglio and file its report before the apex court.

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Recounting the sequence of events including rebel lawmakers travelling to New Delhi by a chartered flight and the interview of the BJP general secretary in charge of Uttarakhand Kailash Vijayvargiya to a English national daily, Sharma said that acts of rebel MLAs attracted the provision of Prevention of Corruption Act and has sought their prosecution.

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