‘Centre Didn’t Follow Prez Rule Norms’
Thursday’s Uttarakhand HC verdict, stayed by SC, says not enough material for imposing central rule
New Delhi: The Uttarakhand HC — that set aside President’s rule in the state last Thursday and the written verdict of which was available on Monday — has come down heavily on the Centre. Saying, “the government, when it takes action under Article 356, is expected to be completely non-partisan,” the HC ruled that the Centre imposed president’s rule, “contrary to the law laid down by the apex court” and dubbed the material for imposing the president’s rule, as “wanting”.
Questioningthemotiveof theCentre,a division bench headed by Chief Justice KM Joseph has questioned the decision taken by the Cabinet on March 26. The 100 paged judgment also questioned the material the Union Cabinet relied upon in imposing president’s rule.
Thecourthasquestionedonwhatbasis the Cabinet relied on disqualification of nine dissident MLAs as on the night (of March 26) when the Cabinet met, the MLAs were not yet disqualified by the Speaker. “Assuming for a moment that they could divine what was coming inthewayof 9dissident MLAs, we would think that it is completely irrelevant for the central government to weigh it in the scales for deciding to impose President’s rule”.
Ruling the material was not relevant for imposing president’s rule, the bench said, “what would happen to the members of the Congress party for their alleged acts or omissions is entrusted to the constitutional functionary, namely the Speaker, to decide. What will happen if they are disqualified and, therefore, what would be the composition of the House on March 28 when the floor test would take place, surely could not have been the lookout of the central government.”
The bench expressed shock over one of the grounds mentioned by the Uttarakhand governor in his letter to the President advocating president’s rule. The governor in his letter dated March 26 mentioned about the removal of the AG, who is related to one of the dissidents and dismissal of a minister.
What would happen to Congress members for their alleged acts is entrusted to Speaker to decide