Uttarakhand Floor Test Hearing Adjourned Till April 6

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Dehradun: Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday stayed the floor test scheduled for March 31 while adjourning the hearing of the case till April 6. The court observed that several legal issues have to be considered while putting a stay on the floor test scheduled for March 31.

Appearing on behalf of the Centre, Attorney General Mukul Rohtag had argued that the court order on Tuesday directing a floor test amounted to suspending presidential proclamation and no purpose would be served by a floor test as there was no government in place. The A-G asked the court to suspend the floor test order for three days and hear the matter fully next week.

The High Court had earlier on Wednesday pulled up the Centre over the imposition of President’s rule in the state. The High Court said that the floor test is the best test and correct arena to prove majority in state assemblies, adding that President’s rule was imposed despite the state Governor calling for a floor test.

According to the High Court, the Centre has sent a wrong message to the country by imposing President’s rule in Uttarakhand. Both the Congress and the BJP had moved the division bench of the High Court after it sanctioned a floor test on Thursday.
All the nine rebel Congress MLAs, too, on Wednesday moved the Uttarakhand High Court challenging their disqualification by the Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker after President’s rule had been imposed in the state.

The petition was filed before the single bench of Justice UC Dhyani of the High Court against the Speaker’s action questioning its validity on the ground that it had been taken after invocation of Article 356 in the state when the Assembly was already under suspended animation.

Earlier on Tuesday, directing a floor test in Uttarakhand, the High Court had said that the results of the floor test should not be declared in the Assembly and instead, should be presented before it in a sealed envelope.

While passing the order, the court allowed the nine Congress MLAs who were disqualified by Uttarakhand Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal on Sunday to take part in the floor test which will be held on March 31. It appointed the registrar of the court to be an observer for the floor test.

Congress party’s lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the court order states that while the nine disqualified MLAs can vote but it will be kept separately. “The votes of the disqualified MLAs will be counted only as per the outcome,” he said.

With less than 24 hours before the crucial trust vote in the Uttarakhand Assembly where Chief Minister Harish Rawat was to prove majority support for his government, the Centre, in a dramatic move, dismissed the Congress government and imposed President’s rule citing breakdown of governance on March 27.