Politics

Uttarakhand HC to Centre: President can go wrong

20 Apr 2016 | Written by Vaneet Randhawa; Edited by Achin Garg
President's Rule in Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand High Court (HC) came hard on Centre for "introducing chaos" in the state.

The court asked if the Centre was looking at state assemblies with "magnifying lens" for opportunities to 'impose' President's Rule.

Further, pointing to the NDA government's contention that the President's Rule had been imposed based on the President's "political wisdom", the HC said the President can go wrong.

In context: President's Rule in Uttarakhand

Introduction The Uttarakhand political crisis

On 18 March, BJP MLAs along with 9 Congress MLAs demanded a division of votes when the Appropriation Bill was presented in the Assembly.

However, the bill was "unconstitutionally" passed as Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal ignored the request for division of votes.

The Centre argued that since the Appropriation Bill wasn't passed in the State, the Centre had to intervene by imposing President's rule.

27 Mar 2016President's Rule imposed in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand was brought under President's Rule by the Centre on grounds of "breakdown of governance" in a controversial decision which came in the wake of a political crisis in the state.

President Pranab Mukherjee signed the proclamation under Art 356 of the Constitution dismissing the Congress government headed by Harish Rawat.​

The Congress denounced the decision and said that it will move to court.

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No floor test for the Rawat government

The President's Rule in Uttarakhand was introduced one day before the Harish Rawat government was to seek a floor test in the assembly to prove it still had the much needed majority.

28 Mar 2016Congress moves to court against President's Rule

The Congress party knocked the door of Uttarakhand HC against the imposition of President's Rule in the state.

The petition by Rawat claimed that the BJP's central government was "murdering democracy".

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on the other hand, justified the imposition of President's rule.

Jaitley said that Rawat should quit from the chief minister's post after the failure of the Appropriation Bill.

21 Apr 2016Uttarakhand HC pulls the plug on President's Rule

Uttarakhand HC nullified the President's Rule in Uttarakhand. It opined that the Centre had acted in 'blatant falsehood' and also denounced the Uttarakhand Speaker of "double standards'."

The HC ordered a floor test in the Assembly on 29 April.

Moreover, the 9 dissident Congress MLAs were disqualified for the 'constitutional sin' of defection.

With status quo restored, the Rawat government came back to power.

25 Apr 2016Congress and BJP spar in Rajya Sabha over Uttarakhand

The Opposition obstructed the proceedings in the upper house of the Parliament by raising slogans against the BJP government at Centre over the Uttarakhand issue.

Ministers Arun Jaitley and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi faced Congress' Anand Sharma and Ghulam Nabi Azad on the issue.

BJP argued that any debate on Uttarakhand was inapplicable as the matter was now being heard by the Court.

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27 Apr 2016SC: President's Rule in Uttarakhand to stay

The SC ordered the continuation of the President's Rule in Uttarakhand until it adjudicates on the Centre's appeal against Uttarakhand HC's decision.

The SC cancelled the HC ordered floor test scheduled for 29th April.

SC asked 7 questions related to 27th March imposition of President's Rule and sought Centre's responses to them. It also asked Centre about the feasibility of a floor test.

5 May 2016CBI summons Uttarakhand ex-CM Rawat over the corruption sting

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat was summoned by the CBI in connection with a sting CD that purportedly showed him offering bribes.

The nine rebel Congress leaders had claimed that Rawat had tried to buy their support by offering money.

The investigating agency had registered a preliminary enquiry after a forensic laboratory had established that the sting CD was genuine and not doctored.

6 May 2016SC orders Uttarakhand floor test on 10 May

In order to decide if the Rawat-led government still enjoyed a majority, the SC fixed a floor-test on 10 May.

However, the apex court barred 9 MLAs disqualified by the assembly speaker from voting in the floor test.

Earlier, the Centre had informed the SC that it was ready for a floor test and that the court should appoint an observer for it.

10 May 2016Floor test ends in 70 seat Uttarakhand Assembly

The SC-monitored floor test in the Uttarakhand assembly ended and the results will be declared tomorrow by the court.

Earlier, BSP had assured support to Congress who was 4 short of the magic 31 mark in the 70 seat assembly after its strength reduced to 61 due to the disqualification of 9 MLAs.

No one was allowed inside except MLAs and the court-appointed observer.

11 May 2016Congress's Harish Rawat wins Uttarakhand floor test: AG

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the Supreme Court that former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat has won the assembly floor test.

The announcement marks a loss of face for the Centre, after the AG said that President's rule would be revoked in the state.

Congress's Rawat got the support of 33 of the 61 MLAs who voted in the test.