NAINITAL: The Uttarakhand High Court today rejected Centre’s plea for deferring the hearing on former Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s petition challenging the imposition of President’s rule in the state.
A bench comprising Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bisht did not allow the plea of two Additional Solicitors General (ASG), representing the Centre, that the hearing be adjourned as a “completely new case” has been set up by Rawat.
ASGs Tushar Mehta and Maninder Singh sought adjournment on the ground that issue of alleged passage of appropriation bill by the state assembly brings in completely new facts and needed to be responded to as they deal with the root of the case.
“We are not going to adjourn it. If you want to file a response then file it during the day or by tomorrow,” the bench said and assured the law officers that it would not deal with the issue till Centre files its response.
The bench, however, made clear that it will go ahead with the hearing of the case.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the ousted Chief Minister, opposed the Centre’s bid to get the matter adjourned on the ground of filing its response on the issue of appropriation bill.
The appropriation bill is a consolidated legislation on the state’s annual budget which was declared passed by the state Assembly.
The division bench of the High Court had on March 30 stayed the floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly on the petition filed by the Centre.
Staying the order of the single judge, the high court had posted the matter for today for final hearing on the writ petition filed by Rawat challenging the imposition of President’s rule in the state.
Earlier, the trust vote was slated for March 28 but the Centre imposed President’s rule on March 27, citing “breakdown of Constitutional machinery” in the state.
This was challenged by Rawat before the single judge of the High Court.
The single judge, while ordering the floor test on March 31, had also allowed nine disqualified rebel Congress MLAs to participate in the voting.
On April 1, the High Court had directed the Centre to respond to the writ petition filed by Rawat challenging promulgation of an ordinance by the Union government on the appropriation bill.
Congress had moved the High Court challenging the central ordinance authorizing expenditure in the state, which is under President’s rule, contending that the Assembly had duly passed the Appropriation Bill on March 18.–PTI