Uttarakhand HC orders floor test, allows disqualified MLAs to take part

Centre to appeal ruling, says court cannot question the President

Updated - November 17, 2021 01:58 am IST

Published - March 29, 2016 02:53 pm IST - Dehradun/New Delhi

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat along with Congress leaders after meeting Governor K.K. Paul at Raj Bhawan in Dehradun on Monday. Photo: Virender Singh Negi

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat along with Congress leaders after meeting Governor K.K. Paul at Raj Bhawan in Dehradun on Monday. Photo: Virender Singh Negi

Granting the former Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Harish Rawat, a chance to prove his majority in the Assembly, the Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday ruled that fresh voting must take place on March 31 when “the vote of confidence will be put to floor test.”

On Monday, Mr. Rawat moved the High Court in Nainital against the imposition of President’s Rule, and the hearing was carried on to Tuesday. The court ruled that all 70 MLAs, including the nine rebels who were suspended on Sunday by the Speaker, must vote, and the floor test shall decide whether Mr. Rawat would be reinstated. However, the rebels would vote separately under the supervision of an observer appointed by the court.

A senior government official told The Hindu that the Home Ministry is certain on moving the court but undecided whether it will “petition the High Court or the Supreme Court.” “It is the prerogative of the President, which is a constitutional authority. The courts cannot interfere with his decision,” said the official.

Harish Rawat feels vindicated

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat said on Tuesday he felt vindicated by the High Court ordering a floor test. “The High Court’s decision shows the Central government was wrong [in persuading the President to impose Central rule on the State]. The Governor had ordered that I prove majority in the Assembly on March 28. But President’s Rule was imposed to prevent me from proving majority in the House.”

Taking a dig at the BJP, he said the High Court had, through its decision, challenged the BJP’s practice of ‘toppling’ State governments. “The trend of dismantling governments shall stop after this judgment and the High Court has ensured that the other States will not have to undergo this trauma,” he said. The High Court ruled that the nine rebel MLAs who were suspended on Sunday by the Speaker shall also vote in the Assembly.

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