HC seeks Centre’s response to Rawat petition on ordinance
Earlier in the week the Budget session of parliament was prorogued to enable President to issue an ordinance to allow expenditure for the state from the Consolidated Fund of India.
Appearing on behalf of the Rawat, Supreme Court senior advocate and former union minister Kapil Sibal argued that since the Appropriation Bill was passed in state assembly on March by voice vote 18, there was no need to bring the Ordinance. Since the appropriation bill was passed as pandemonium prevailed in the House, on March 19, Governor KK Paul asked CM Rawat to prove majority on the assembly floor by 28 March.
However, in an emergency meeting of the Union Cabinet held on March 26, imposition of Central rule was recommended in the state under Article 356. The central rule was clamped in the state on March 27, less than 24-hours before the Harish Rawat government faced a test of strength on the floor of the House.
Arguing before the bench of malafide intention Sibal said, “As soon as the nine rebel Congress legislatures were disqualified by the Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal on March 27, Uttarakhand was brought under Central Rule under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution.”
He added, “The scrutiny of Vidhan Sabha proceedings can’t be held by outer agency. As Governor is not any member of Assembly, he can’t interfere with the already passed Appropriation Bill. The Vidhan Sabha Speaker is the final decision maker as per Supreme Court directions.” The Division Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice KM Joseph and Justice VK Bisht asked the central government to file a reply before 5 April, so that the matter could be taken up concurrently with the hearing on the Centre’s plea to stop floor test.