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Uttarakhand high court stays floor test in assembly, next hearing on April 6

Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday stayed the Assembly floor test scheduled to take place on March 31st.

Harish Rawat-AVCriticizing the imposition of President’s rule in the state, the HC had earlier ruled that fresh voting must take place. The move had given Rawat government a chance to prove majority on the floor.

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.

In the deal agreed upon by the two sides, the Centre will file its affidavit on why it imposed the President’s Rule in the hill state by Monday, while Rawat’s lawyer will file a rejoinder the next day. The court will next hold the final hearing in the matter on April 6.

“This decision is in the interest of our state, I hope court will do justice,” CM Harish Rawat said.

The Bench of Chief Justice KM Joseph and Justice VK Bisht passed the order on a petition filed by the Centre against Wednesday’s single-judge directive for floor test on Thursday. The next date of hearing before the Division Bench is April 6.

Reacting on the order, BJP’s Kailash Vijayvargiya said, “Welcome this decision. Single bench order was given in a hurry.”

On Tuesday, a one-judge bench of the high court had ordered floor test on Thursday on a petition filed by former chief minister Harish Rawat.

The court’s decision was challenged by the Centre on the ground that the state was already under President’s Rule.

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.

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