Updated: April 22, 2016 8:51:42 am
Hours after the Uttarakhand High Court quashed imposition of President’s rule in the state, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the Centre will challenge the order in the Supreme Court, citing its “legal untenability”.
“We will mention the matter before the Chief Justice of India on Friday morning and ask for an urgent hearing. We will also press for an imminent stay on the order of the High Court,” Rohatgi told The Indian Express.
Ousted Chief Minister Harish Rawat also filed a caveat petition in the Supreme Court Thursday to ensure he is heard before any order is passed on the Centre’s appeal.
Asked about the prime ground of appeal, Rohatgi said the High Court was “wrong in setting aside” the Presidential proclamation “without fully appreciating the facts” of the case.
“The state government lost its majority when the money Bill 2016-17 was defeated on the floor of the House. The Speaker, however, kept afloat the minority government by certifying to the contrary and it is definitely against constitutional principles,” he said.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said blaming the Centre for a “situation created by the Congress is unfortunate”.
“We all respect the court verdict. I have nothing to comment on it. But to blame just the central government for a particular situation that has been created by the Congress party is unfortunate. It is the Congress party’s creation, not ours,” he said.
The BJP, meanwhile, put up a brave face saying the order was “not unexpected” and the Centre would move the Supreme Court.
Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP general secretary and party in-charge of Uttarakhand, said: “Our legal experts are examining the decision. Given the observations that have been coming for the last three days from the court, there is nothing surprising about this verdict. We cannot understand how can the Chief Minister, whose sting video the entire country saw, not be pulled up. We have maintained that the Harish Rawat government in Uttarakhand is a minority government and we will prove that on April 29.”
Before the rebellion by nine Congress MLAs, the Congress had 36 MLAs in the House of 70 members — the 71st member is nominated — and enjoyed the support of six MLAs of the Progressive Democratic Front. The BJP had 28 MLAs.
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