The Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday allowed Harish Rawat’s plea challenging imposition of President’s rule in the state. Article 356 was imposed in Uttarakhand contrary to law laid down by Supreme Court, the High Court said.
Earlier on Thursday, the Uttarakhand High Court today said it would be a travesty of justice if the Centre recalls its order imposing President’s Rule and allows someone else to form a government now, strong words that came after its counsel was unable to give an undertaking till a verdict is given in the present case.
Continuing its hearing for the fourth day, the court also told the Centre that it could allow the ousted Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s petition challenging the imposition of President’s Rule and ensure that a floor test is held.
“Should we consider their application for stay moved on April 7? It was expected that till the judgement is pronounced, Central government will not recall (Article) 356. If you recall 356 and call someone else to form a government, what else would it be other than travesty of justice,” a bench of Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bist said.
The strong words of the court came after the Centre’s counsel said it was not in a position to give an assurance that the government would consider putting on hold the recall of its order imposing President’s Rule for a week. It gave the government’s counsel some time to take instructions.
The bench observed, “Otherwise you can do this in every state. Impose President’s Rule for 10-15 days and then ask someone else to take oath. More than angry, we are pained that you are behaving like this. That the highest authority – Government of India – behaves like this. How can you think of playing with the court.”
“What if we allow the petition? Then things would go back to what it was prior to the President’s Rule and the state government will only have to prove majority by way of floor test. Can you take exception to that also?” the bench asked the Centre.