After 24 hours, Uttarakhand back to President rule for 5 days

BJP, which was stunned by the HC order on Thursday, appeared somewhat rejuvenated with the Supreme Court observation.

New Delhi: The fate of Uttarakhand swung from one extreme to another with the Supreme Court on Friday staying the Uttarakhand high court’s Thursday order quashing President’s Rule in the state.

Congress leader Harish Rawat, who was reinstated as chief minister by the high court on Thursday, called himself “former chief minister” after Friday’s top court order.

The apex court stayed the Uttarakhand high court order till April 27, but before making the move the bench, comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh, recorded an undertaking given by Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi that the “Union of India shall not revoke the presidential proclamation till the next date of hearing”.

The BJP, which was stunned by the high court order on Thursday, appeared somewhat rejuvenated with the Supreme Court observation. Former chief minister and leader of the dissidents Vijay Bahuguna sprang back to life and, reacting to the top court order, said, “Good judgment, quite hopeful that view of HC wont find favour with SC.” BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, being branded as the “architect of the Uttarakhand chaos” by a section of his colleagues, said that “Harish Rawat took the CM office yesterday without the permission of the governor”.

Read: Kailash Vijayvargiya to blame for mess, say some in BJP

Mr Rawat’s reaction was that the top court’s order “is interim”. He said the Supreme Court “didn’t have HC’s judgment copy. We will follow SC’s judgment with due respect. All in all, the state is facing a huge issue. Until SC makes a final judgment, President’s Rule can’t be revoked.”

In Dehradun, the BJP continued to stress on the phrase “constitutional crisis”. State BJP spokesman Munna Singh Chauhan on Friday accused Mr Rawat of taking charge as CM in an “unconstitutional manner”. He claimed it was “illegal to assume office suo motu” before the Uttarakhand high court order could reach the Centre and the governor. He observed that “by taking charge suo motu as chief minister, Rawat has created a constitutional crisis”.

In the Supreme Court, the bench, after a 70-minute hearing of Attorney-General Rohatgi and senior counsel Harish Salve for the Union of India, senior counsel Kapil Sibal for the Speaker and Mr Abhishek Singhvi for Mr Rawat, directed that the high court judgment quashing President’s Rule be kept in abeyance till April 27, when the matter will be taken up again. It indicated that the matter will have to be heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench.

Though the bench did not go into the merits of the appeal against the high court verdict, it observed, “Suppose there is horse-trading of MLAs, it will create a dent in democracy.” When the A-G pointed out that the copy of the judgment which was dictated in open court was not made available, the bench requested the high court to furnish copies of the judgment to the parties concerned by April 26 and said the same shall be filed in the apex court on the same day. When the A-G said the high court had fixed April 29 for a floor test to be taken by Mr Rawat, the bench said this aspect will be considered on April 27.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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