New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea by nine disqualified Uttarakhand MLAs who are challenging their disbarment from the state Assembly. The court will pass an order on the plea at 4 PM.
The MLAs move the Supreme Court after the Uttarakhand high court dismissed a similar plea from them earlier in the day. Moments after the high court pronounced its order, the MLAs moved the Supreme Court.
Dismissing the petition, the single judge High Court bench of Justice UC Dhyani advised the MLAs to go back to state Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal and request a review of his action if they so wished.
The judgment by the high court was seen as a blow for the BJP as it would have made its task difficult in the confidence vote that will be sought on Tuesday by former chief minister Harish Rawat.
If the nine MLAs remain disqualified after the SC’s ruling, the BJP will be left with only 28 MLAs, including Bhim Lal Arya whose loyalty to the party is reportedly in doubt. Although suspended by the BJP, Arya continues to represent it in the House.
In addition, if the nine MLAs remain disqualified, it may give Rawat an advantage in the floor test which will now be held in the Assembly with an effective strength of 62. To win a majority, 31 MLAs are required.
The Supreme Court had on Friday ordered that a floor test be conducted in the Uttarakhand Assembly on May 10. Rawat was chief minister of Uttarakhand till the BJP-led Centre imposed President’s Rule in the state on March 27.