Uttarakhand: Supreme Court asks AG about feasibility of holding floor test

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the attorney general to take instruction and apprise it about the feasibility of holding a floor test in Uttarakhand assembly under its supervision.

The court adjourned till Wednesday the hearing on the Centre’s appeal against the Uttarakhand high court verdict revoking President’s rule in the state. A bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh, which had fixed the hearing on the plea at 2pm, took up the matter at 10.30am to apprise the parties concerned that it may not take up the case on Tuesday as justice Singh would be a part of another bench hearing matters related to medical entrance exams at 2pm.

During the brief hearing, the bench repeated its suggestion that the Centre should consider holding a floor test in the assembly under its supervision to ascertain the actual situation. It asked attorney general Mukul Rohatgi to take instruction on the issue and apprise it about the same on Wednesday.

The apex court had on 22 April stayed till 27 April the judgement of the Uttarakhand high court quashing imposition of President’s rule, giving a new turn to the political drama in the state by restoring central rule there. On 27 April, it had extended the stay till further orders and had also framed seven questions while giving the liberty to the AG to include other questions the government would like to be addressed.

“Whether the Governor could have sent the message in the present manner under Article 175 (2) for conducting floor test,” the bench had said in its first question. It had further asked whether the disqualification of MLAs by the Speaker is a “relevant issue” for the purposes of invoking President’s rule under Article 356 of the Constitution.

Referring to constitutional scheme that the assembly proceedings are beyond the scope of judicial scrutiny, the apex court had also asked whether the proceedings of the House can be considered for invoking President’s rule.

Dealing with the claim and counter claim with regard to the fate of the Appropriation Bill in the Uttarakhand assembly, it had said that the next question is as to when the President’s role comes into the picture. “Can the delay in the floor test be a ground for proclamation of the President’s rule,” it had also asked.