Suspense on Uttarakhand Cong rebels’ fate still alive
Decision on the nine legislators set for tomorrow
The Uttarakhand high court on Saturday deferred its decision on a petition filed by nine Congress rebels challenging their disqualification by the Assembly speaker.
The deferment kept alive the suspense over the fate of the nine legislators who plunged the state into political crisis and are crucial to the BJP’s hopes of forming the government in the hill state.
Fixing Monday for the next hearing in the case, the court of justice UC Dhyani said it will deliver its verdict before April 29 when former chief minister Harish Rawat has been asked to prove his government’s majority by a two-judge bench.
The high court’s observation came a day after the Supreme Court stayed the two-judge bench’s revocation of President’s rule in the hill state, giving a breather to the BJP-led government at the Centre.
The apex court’s verdict, likely on April 27, will decide whether Rawat will get the chance to prove his government’s majority in the house.
The Centre had clamped
President’s rule in the state on March 27 citing “governance breakdown”, just a day before Rawat was to prove his strength in the assembly.
The Congress accuses the BJP trying to topple governments in opposition-ruled state and the issue is likely to see fireworks in Parliament when it reconvenes on Monday.
Pleading on behalf of assembly speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said the nine rebels have violated the law against defection and deserved to be punished for it.
“How can you stay a disqualification? They have committed a constitutional sin and are yet seeking the stay on this sin,”
Sibal said referring to an observation made by the two-judge bench on Thursday.
He said the rebels knew it was “unethical and unconstitutional” when they joined the BJP and signed a memorandum seeking division of votes during the budget session of the assembly in March.