NAINITAL/NEW DELHI: In new twists and turns, the Supreme Court will hear today the petition of the nine Congress MLAs who have challenged the decision of the Uttarakhand High Court which has dismissed their petition against their disqualification by Assembly Speaker.
Moments after Justice U C Dhyani of the high court pronounced his order on the petition challenging Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal's decision disqualifying them after they joined hands with the BJP during proceedings on the Appropriation Bill on March 18, the MLAs moved the Supreme Court.
Counsel for the MLAs C A Sundaram mentioned the matter before Chief Justice of India T S Thakur about the high court verdict that had come earlier in the day. The CJI asked the counsel to approach the bench which had on Friday ordered the floor test. The fresh petition will be heard at 2 PM.
Today's order of the high court ensures that the disqualification of the MLAs stays and would keep the rebel MLAs out of the proceedings during the confidence vote for Rawat in the Assembly tomorrow unless overturned by the apex court.
Ordering a floor test on May 10 in the Assembly, the Supreme Court had said "if they (disqualified MLAs) have the same status" at the time of vote of confidence, they cannot participate in the House.
A specially convened two-hour-long session during which the President's Rule will be kept in abeyance will be held between 11 AM and 1 PM for a "single agenda" of floor test, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh had said.
The apex court had said, "However, our observation in praesenti will not cause any kind of prejudice to the merits of the case of disqualified Members of Legislative Assembly, which is sub-judice before the High Court."
At present, in the 70-member assembly, BJP has 28 MLAs, Congress has 27, BSP has 02, while there are three independent MLAs and one belongs to Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P) lawmaker. Nine Congress MLAs are disqualified and one is a BJP rebel.