U’khand: Centre seeks more time to build its case

SansadTV Bureau
FILE: Dehradun: File photo of former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat addressing a presser at Dehradun, March 29, 2016. Photo - PTI

FILE: Dehradun: File photo of former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat addressing a presser at Dehradun, March 29, 2016.
Photo – PTI

In a relief to Centre, the Uttarakhand High Court has given time till April 12 to file their response on the petition filed by former Chief Minister Harish Rawat. The High court is hearing Rawat’s plea challenging the imposition of President’s rule in the state.

Earlier on Wednesday, the centre moved a plea contesting Rawat’s submission of the passage of Appropriation Bill by the state legislative assembly, soon after the High Court resumed its hearing on the issue.

After a day-long hearing on Wednesday, the matter resumed on Thursday with Centre seeking some more time to file their response to the petitions filed by Rawat. While the court had rejected their contention of deferring the hearing, it asked the Centre to file their response latest by Thursday.

But as the bench resumed its hearing, Central government once again demanded time to file their response.

The division bench of Uttarakhand High Court had last week stayed the single bench’s interim order allowing floor test in state assembly on March 31 after former CM Harish Rawat moved against the Centre’s promulgation of President’s Rule, adjourning the matter to be resumed today.

Uttarakhand was placed under President’s rule on March 27, a day before the incumbent Harish Rawat government was slated to go for the trust vote. Defending its move to impose President’s rule, the Centre had claimed there was a breakdown of governance in the state given rebellion within the ruling party.

Before the crisis unfolded, the Congress had 36 MLAs in the 70-member Assembly. The ruling party also has the support of 6 members of the Progressive Democratic Front, while opposition BJP has 28 MLAs.

Nine MLAs of the Congress party, including former CM Vijay Bahuguna and senior minister Harak Singh Rawat, had rebelled on March 18 leading to political crises in the state. Soon after, the BJP paraded nine Congress rebel along with their 26 MLAs before the Governor claiming numbers on its part. But Governor KK Paul asked Harish Rawat to prove his majority on March 28.

Besides, the plea challenging President’s rule in the state, the Uttarakhand HC is also hearing the connected issue on the fate of nine Congress rebel MLAs disqualified by the Speaker.