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Uttarakhand crisis: Nainital HC to resume hearing on rebel Congress MLAs' petition today

The Nainital High Court will resume the hearing today on 9 rebel Congress MLAs petition, who are at the centre of the ongoing political crisis in Uttarakhand, challenging their disqualification from the state assembly.
India TV Politics Desk April 25, 2016 8:25 IST
India TV Politics Desk

New Delhi: The Nainital High Court will resume the hearing today on 9 rebel Congress MLAs petition, who are at the centre of the ongoing political crisis in Uttarakhand, challenging their disqualification from the state assembly.

The nine legislators will present their contention before the single bench of Justice UC Dhyani. The bench had on Saturday recorded the arguments of counsel Kapil Sibal appearing for Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal. Sibal had opposed the MLAs request seeking time till Monday to present more information on the issue before the court and sided with the speaker's decision to disqualify the 9 legislators who opposed the budget on the floor of the house last month.

The Congress MLAs have challenged the notice issued by Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal on March 19 and his decision to disqualify them on March 27. They have also sought directions of court to allow them to participate in House proceedings.

The Speaker had on March 27th disqualified the 9, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, who spearheaded the rebellion against Chief Minister Harish Rawat, under the anti-defection law. This had led to a political instability in the state and imposition of President's rule.

The MLAs moved the High Court on two grounds that they were not given enough time by the Speaker to respond to the charges, and that they were not provided ‘proof’ of their alleged anti-party activity.

All the disqualified MLAs have also approached the Supreme Court last week questioning the constitutional validity of their disqualification.

If the rebels are disqualified, the House strength comes down to 61. The Congress, with 27 legislators, may then win the trust vote if the six MLAs from smaller parties and independents back it. The BJP has 28 MLAs.

Also last week, the High Court had stayed the President's Rule, but the Supreme Court kept in abeyance till April 27 the court’s order removing central rule.