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President’s Rule to be revoked, Congress back in Uttarakhand

harish-rawat

New Delhi: The central government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that ousted Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat had the legislative majority and his government would be restored as soon as President’s Rule was revoked in the state.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi informed the court that Rawat got 33 votes in his favour while 28 legislators voted against him in the floor test held on Tuesday.

He said the central government, which dismissed the Rawat-led Congress government on March 27 citing poor governance, would withdraw President’s Rule on Wednesday.

“I am requesting we may be granted leave to revoke President’s Rule and thereafter Harish Rawat’s government will be restored,” Rohatgi told the court.

“I have advised the government to take this course.”

As Rohatgi informed the Supreme Court of the floor test result, the bench, comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, modified its April 22 order. The judges had on that day taken an undertaking from Rohatgi that President’s Rule won’t be revoked so long the top court was seized of the matter.

The court asked the central government to inform it by Thursday of its action on withdrawing President’s Rule. The next hearing of the matter has been listed for Friday.

The court, however, said it would hold hearing sometime in September on the central government’s plea challenging the Uttarakhand High Court order that quashed President’s Rule on April 21. The then Uttarakhand Chief Justice K. M. Joseph had lashed out at the central government for acting like a “private party” and dismissing the state government by invoking Article 356.

The court said it was necessary to examine the justifiability of the imposition of President’s Rule as the same had been quashed by the high court citing several reasons.

As the Attorney General told the court about the lifting of President’s Rule day and the consequent restoration of Rawat’s government, senior counsels Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for the ousted chief minister, extended their appreciation of the stand taken by the top law officer of the country.

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