Prez Rule re­turns as SC stays U’khand HC or­der

CRI­SIS Rawat- led Cong govt can’t take de­ci­sions, next SC hear­ing on April 27

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Bhadra Sinha ■ bhadra.sinha@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court stayed un­til April 27 an Ut­tarak­hand high court or­der that had re­voked Pres­i­dent’s Rule in the state, hand­ing a re­prieve to the Naren­dra Modi-led govern­ment on Fri­day. Af­ter an hour-long hear­ing of a Cen­tre’s pe­ti­tion chal­leng­ing Thurs­day’s high court or­der, the top court said it was keep­ing the ver­dict in abeyance in ab­sence of a copy of the rul­ing.

“You don’t re­voke Pres­i­dent’s rule just like that. The files should have been called for. How much de­lib­er­a­tion has gone into the is­sue? This is a se­ri­ous mat­ter,” a bench of jus­tices Di­pak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh said.

The SC stay came af­ter at­tor­ney gen­eral Mukul Ro­hatgi gave an un­der­tak­ing that the Cen­tre will not re­voke Pres­i­dent’s rule un­til April 27. The in­terim or­der means cen­tral rule re­turns to the hill state and the Har­ish Rawat-led Congress govern­ment would not be able to make any de­ci­sions for now.

Though the top court’s or­der comes as a re­lief to the Cen­tre, it is un­likely to stop the Con­gressled op­po­si­tion from launch­ing a frontal at­tack on the Modi govern­ment when Par­lia­ment re­con­venes on Mon­day . The Congress ac­cuses the BJP of try­ing to top­ple op­po­si­tion-ruled states.

Congress pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi met her trusted lieu­tenants on Thurs­day to dis­cuss the party’s strat­egy af­ter the high court ver­dict. Congress lead­ers told HT that there was no ques­tion of sup­port­ing the govern­ment on any is­sue in­clud­ing the cru­cial GST bill af­ter the BJP’s “as­sault on demo­crat­i­cally-elected state govern­ments”.

CON­TIN­UED ON P12

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