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Uttarakhand crisis: HC questions central govt's interference in state affairs

PTI 18 Apr 2016, 17:48:42 PM IST
PTI

Nainital: The Uttarakhand High Court today asked the Centre whether it was not “totally extraneous” for the Union Government to be concerned over the disqualification of nine rebel MLAs and to “interfere” in the affairs of the state which has to be done only in “extraordinary instances”.

“What is passing through our mind is, is it the lookout of the Central government as to what would have happened on March 28 (when floor test was to be held) in view of the changed composition and in view of the nine ousted MLAs," a bench of Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bist asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

"Will it not be totally extraneous for Central government, which is ruled by another political party, to be concerned by changed composition,” the bench asked further.

The bench was hearing a writ petition of the ousted Chief Minister Harish Rawat plea challenging imposition of President’s rule on March 26.

The bench said it (the demand for division of votes in the Assembly when appropriation Bill was introduced) was only a “solitary instance” and added “this is what is colouring our minds. Can one solitary instance topple a democratically-elected government in its fourth-fifth year… root of the matter is you are cutting at root of democracy”.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi contended that the Speaker’s decision to not allow 35 MLAs to vote on their demand for division, when the money bill was introduced, amounted to “destroying democracy” as the 35 constituted the majority view.
 
He alleged that former Chief Minister Harish Rawat and the Speaker were “in cahoots” and “scuttled the demand for division”. He claimed that since no vote was held, the money bill had failed and this amounted to the state government having fallen on March 18.