Supreme Court wants government to consider Uttarakhand trust vote

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the central government to consider the possibility of a floor test in Uttarakhand, which is under President’s Rule since March 27, to ascertain the legislative strength of ousted chief minister Harish Rawat.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to take instructions from the government on the possiblity of holding the floor test under the court’s supervision and intimate the court about it.

It said that even on an earlier occasion, it had asked about resolving the political imbroglio in the hill state through a floor test as it adjourned till Wednesday the hearing on Uttarakhand that was schedule to commence at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The matter was to be heard by the bench of Justice Misra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, but the latter is now a part of a special bench to hear a batch of applications challenging the NEET for admission to medical schools.

In the course of the hearing of the central government’s appeal against Uttarakhand High Court order quashing President’s rule, the apex court had on April 27 asked if President’s Rule could be kept in abeyance for two to three days and the strength of a government tested on the floor of the assembly.

It said that even if it sustains the President’s rule, there has to be a floor test.

To the court’s suggestion, Rohatgi had then said that it would not be possible that president’s rule is imposed, then put it in abeyance for the floor test, and then brought back.

Uttarakhand was plunged into political uncertainty after nine Congress legislators, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, whom Rawat replaced, revolted and turned to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The crisis peaked on March 18 when the assembly passed the Appropriation Bill by voice vote even as the opposition had sought recorded voting. Speaker Govind Kunjwal declined the request, leading the BJP to cry foul.

Rawat was then asked by Governor K.K. Paul to prove his majority on March 28 but just a day before it, the central government ousted his government by imposing President’s Rule. Rawat immediately went to court.

The Uttarakhand High Court by its April 21 verdict had quashed the President’s rule.

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