HC turns down plea for deferring hearing in U'khand case

HC turns down plea for deferring hearing in U'khand case

HC turns down plea for deferring hearing in U'khand case

The Centre's attempt to get deferred the hearing on a petition challenging the imposition of President's rule in Uttarakhand failed with the High Court turning down a plea in this regard.

"We are not going to adjourn it. If you want to file a response then file it during the day or by tomorrow. We will not take a final call unless or until you (Centre) file your response on this issue," a bench comprising Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bisht said.

The bench made these observations when Additional Solicitors General (ASGs) Tushar Mehta and Maninder Singh fervently pleaded for adjournment of the hearing on the petition filed by the dismissed Chief Minister Harish Rawat against bringing the state under Central rule.

The ASGs argued for adjournment of the proceedings on the ground that the former Chief Minister had brought in new facts such as the passage of appropriation bill on the floor of Uttarakhand Assembly.

The law officers wanted time to respond to the fresh submissions.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the ousted CM, vehemently opposed the plea for adjournment and said, "No new case has been set up by us and the argument is not relevant and this case should not be adjourned."

The court considered rival submissions and proceeded with  the hearing during the day in which Singhvi dealt with legal and factual aspects of the case and stressed that the Centre had misused its power in imposing President Rule in the state.

He told the Court that the Central government has "subverted" various constitutional principles including federalism and did not allow the floor test, the only valid way to determine whether government enjoys majority or not.

Singhvi extensively referred to landmark judgements of the apex court in S R Bommai and Rameshwar Prasad cases and said, "The floor test is the only valid way to determine the fact as to whether the government enjoys the majority or not."

He said that even if there was rumour that horse-trading was going on, the Centre should have allowed the floor test to ascertain the factual situation.

"The decision of the government of India suffered from malafide as it is nobody's case that there was violence or rioting (inside the assembly). It is not the case that the constitutional machinery has broken down," Singhvi said.

He further said that the central government was sitting in judgement on proceedings of the Assembly, interfered with the functioning of the House and the powers of the Speaker with respect to a Money Bill.

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