NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended President’s rule in Uttarakhand and stayed the floor test in the Assembly scheduled for April 29 till further orders.
Amidst a high-voltage hearing before a bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, seven tough questions were framed so that they can be deliberated upon during the course of the hearing.
The bench sought the help of Attorney-General Mukul Rohtagi and other parties in the case to answer the questions. The court posted the matter to May 3 for a further hearing amid indications that the verdict may be pronounced before the court breaks for the summer vacation by the middle of next month. Arguments by the Centre and the Congress will commence on May 3 and conclude by May 6.
Rohatgi said the President’s rule will continue for two months till May 27 and if it was upheld by the court, the government will decide when to have the floor test. If the President’s rule is dismissed, it will be a case of non-existence of Central rule and, the direction to the governor will be to call for the floor test, he added.
Rohatgi narrated the sequence of events of March 18 when BJP MLAs requested the Governor to ask the Speaker to have a division of votes in the Assembly on the appropriation bill. Rohatgi said a majority of MLAs, including 27 of the BJP and 9 others, had demanded division of votes on the bill but their request was denied. Abhishek Singhvi, representing the Congress, argued that if there was assumption of horse-trading, the best “panacea was a floor test”.