SC fixes May 10 for U'khand floor test

HC to decide MLA disqualification

SC fixes May 10 for U'khand floor test

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly under its supervision on May 10.

The Centre agreed that it is a must in the state which is under President’s Rule since March 27.

The court, however, said 9 rebel Congress MLAs led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna can cast their votes only if the Uttarakhand High Court permits them. The High Court is likely to resume hearing on disqualification issue on Saturday.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh directed for convening special session on Tuesday for a period of 2 hours between 11 am 1 pm during which the President’s proclamation under Article 356 of the Constitution would be lifted.

“The only agenda in the Assembly would be the Vote of Confidence sought by Harish Rawat (deposed CM). Nothing else shall be discussed in the Assembly. The proceedings in the Assembly are expected to be absolutely peaceful and without any disturbance,” the bench said, adding the entire proceedings would also be video-recorded.

Agreeing that the floor test is a must in the Assembly, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi sought direction for appointment of an independent observer, a former chief election commissioner or noted Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap during the confidence vote.  This was opposed by senior advocates A M Singhvi and Kapil Sibal, appearing for Rawat, saying no outsider should enter the House.

Giving out modalities for the floor test, the bench asked the Principal Secretary of the Legislative Assembly to ensure that the voting was done properly and duly recorded.

“On the Confidence Motion having been put, a division of the House shall take place and the Members who are inclined to vote in favour of the Motion, shall sit on the one wing/side and the others who are against the Motion, shall sit on the other wing/side,” the bench ordered.

The Principal Secretary has been directed to count the votes made by the MLAs by raising their hands in favour or against the motion, the bench said, directing for furnishing all records in sealed cover to it on May 11.

Clarification by court

The court also clarified that Rawat would not be seeking confidence vote as chief minister.

 It also directed the chief secretary and the top cop to ensure the safety of all MLAs attending the floor test.

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