The Uttarakhand High Court, on Thursday, quashed the order of the Central government that had put the State under President’s Rule on March 27. Deciding that the Congress shall return to power, the Division Bench of the Court also ordered that a floor test must be held in the Uttarakhand Assembly on April 29 where former Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s claim of having majority support shall be put to test.
The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice V.K. Bisht had decided to reserve the verdict for later, but taking the apprehensions of Mr. Rawat’s counsel into consideration where it was being feared that the Central Government might revoke President’s Rule and try and get the BJP to form government in the State before the Court’s final verdict in the case, the Bench took the decisions on quashing Presidential Proclamation on Thursday itself.
Prior to the judgment, the Bench slammed the Centre for planning to attempt the revocation of President’s Rule before the Court’s verdict.
'Pained by the Centre's actions'
Chief Justice Joseph said that the Court was "pained" by the Centre's actions in the case on imposition of President's Rule in Uttarakhand where the Centre was acting like a "private party". He said that the Central government, which should be impartial, was acting like a "private party."
“We are pained that the Central government can behave like this. How can you think of playing with the Court?" Chief Justice Joseph said.
Questioning the Centre over planning to attempt revoking President's Rule before court's final verdict, Chief Justice Joseph slammed the Centre for such attempts. The Chief Justice said, "If they [the Centre] revoke Article 356 and try and form a government... What is it but a travesty of justice?"
In an application filed by former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on April 7 it was apprehended that the Centre might revoke Article 356 from Uttarakhand and attempt to get the BJP in Uttarakhand to form government.
The Centre had then assured the Bench that the Court would be informed about the Centre's decision but the assurance was only until April 17. However, when the Court questioned the Court again whether the Centre would indulge in such attempts, the Centre’s counsels remained silent, after which Mr. Rawat’s counsels requested that the Bench must pass an Order in the case on Thursday itself.