Placing hope in the Supreme Court judgment on Arunachal Pradesh, the nine legislators, who were disqualified by Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal in March, shall file an application in the apex court seeking ouster of the Speaker and re-entry into the State Assembly.
In a petition filed in the Nainital High Court, the nine Congress MLAs, who are now with the BJP, had challenged their disqualification. The matter is now with the Supreme Court and the next hearing is scheduled for August 24.
However, with the Supreme Court judgment on Arunachal clearly stating that when the Speaker’s position is under threat then the Speaker has no authority to entertain the petitions under Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, the nine MLAs are to move an application in the Supreme Court.
“In view of the judgment of the constitutional bench in the Arunachal Pradesh case, we are moving an application that the hearing of our case be advanced to an early date and the court may examine as to whether we too are covered by the [Arunachal Pradesh] judgment or not,” Vijay Bahuguna, the former Chief Minister of the State, who was amongst the nine Congress MLAs to go against their own party by objecting to the Appropriation Bill in the State Assembly on March 18, said.Similarities
Mr. Bahuguna said the facts were similar between Uttarakhand and Arunachal.
“When we revolted against Mr. Harish Rawat on March 18, on the same evening we moved a no-confidence motion against the Speaker because he was biased and didn’t allow a division [of votes]. Now, the Supreme Court has said [in the Arunachal judgment] that if a motion of no-confidence has been moved against the Speaker, he cannot disqualify anybody because then he would be acting to help himself. The Speaker should have first proved his majority and then he should have gone ahead with the disqualification,” Mr. Bahuguna said.
He said the application would either be filed on July 18 or 19 so that the hearing could be held before the State Assembly session on the Replacement Appropriation Bill which is scheduled for July 21-22.