Division bench stays today's floor test in U'khand

Division bench stays today's floor test in U'khand

Division bench stays today's floor test in U'khand

In a relief to the Centre, a division bench of the Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday stayed the floor test, ordered by a single-judge bench a day earlier, till April 7.

After giving some anxious moments to the Centre, the bench of Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bist stayed the single-judge order asking Rawat to prove majority in the Assembly at a time when the state is under President’s Rule.

The court put off the floor test but not before posing some tough questions over the hurry to impose President’s Rule at a time when the governor had fixed a date for Rawat to prove his majority.

“A floor test is the best test and the correct arena,” the court observed, as lawyers led by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi argued against it, contending that there was no government in place as the state was under President’s Rule.

Stumped by Justice U C Dhyani’s order asking Rawat to face floor test on March 31, the Centre had rushed the Attorney General to Nainital to challenge it before a larger bench.

“In view of the consent of the parties that the writ petition be posted to 06-04-2016 for being disposed of finally, we direct that the order, which is impugned in these appeals will be kept in abeyance till 07-04-2016,” the two-judge bench said in a brief order.

Appearing on behalf of Rawat, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi had challenged the permission granted to nine Congress rebels to participate in the floor test.

The Centre has to explain by Monday its decision to impose President’s Rule in Uttarakhand. Rawat has been asked to file a counter-affidavit the next day. “The decision is in the interest of our state, hope court will do justice,” Rawat told reporters in Dehradun.

In Delhi, BJP spokesperson Shrikant Sharma welcomed the order. “The order delivered yesterday (Tuesday) for holding the floor test on Thursday had created a lot of uncertainty. The division bench order has given clarity,” said Sharma.
DH News Service

Ordinance on expenditure
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday night recommended promulgation of an Ordinance authorising use of funds in the new financial year in Uttarakhand that has been placed under President’s Rule. The meeting, chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, also recommended re-promulgation of the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance that his pending in the Rajya Sabha.