Uttarakhand HC to continue hearing plea against President’s Rule

Dehradun, March 28 (IANS) The Uttarakhand High Court will continue to hear on Tuesday the plea against the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.

On Monday, a single bench of Justice U.S. Dhyani admitted a Congress petition on the issue and directed the Centre to file a counter reply by Tuesday.

Outgoing chief minister Harish Rawat was represented by senior Supreme Court lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi while the central government was represented by Assistant Solicitor General Rakesh Thapaliyal.

During the proceedings, Singhvi cited the cases of Rameshwar Nath in Bihar and S.R. Bommai case in Karnataka and said that a constitutional bench of the Supreme Court had ruled that the proving of majority was to be done on the assembly floor.

He contended that the Harish Rawat-led Congress government was dismissed on the eve of a floor test to save the nine rebel Congress MLAs and prevent the government from proving its majority in the assembly.

Singhvi pointed out that the rebel Congress legislators were taken in a chartered plane and seen “in public domain” with the BJP MLAs.

He pleaded that after the disqualification of nine legislators by Uttarakhand Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal, the house strength was down to 61.

Rawat’s lawyer sought an interim stay on the central notification to impose President’s Rule in the state and direct for the government to take a floor test to prove its majority either on Monday or Tuesday.

The central government, however, sought 10 days to file a counter reply, but the court gave it time till Tuesday to respond.

The court will now hear the matter on Tuesday from 10 a.m. onwards.

The crisis in the hill state erupted on March 18 when nine Congress MLAs rebelled against Rawat’s government, resulting in flip-flop in the passage of the Appropriation Bill. The BJP met the governor the same day and staked claim to form the government.

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