Uttarakhand HC Defers Rebel MLAs’ Plea Against Disqualification

Six of nine rebel Congress MLAs had moved the court challenging their disqualification from the state assembly. 

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Rebel Congress leader Vijay Bahuguna, along with other rebel Congress MLAs, at a press conference at his official residence in Dehradun on Thursday. (Photo: PTI)

Uttarakhand High Court on Friday deferred the hearing of a plea challenging the disqualification of rebel Congress MLAs from the state assembly till 11 April. Six of the nine rebel Congress MLAs had moved the high court on 30 March challenging their disqualification.

The single bench of Justice UC Dhyani postponed the hearing till 11 April. This is the second time the hearing has been postponed by the high court, which had earlier posted the matter for Friday.

On 30 March, Justice Dhyani had said the rebel MLAs were already given relief as they were allowed to vote during the floor test, in spite of being disqualified. Justice Dhyani was referring to the interim order issued by the court, on Harish Rawat’s writ petition challenging President’s rule in the state.

The court had also told them that although they had been allowed to vote during floor test, their votes will not be at par with the rest of the MLAs.

The Speaker had disqualified nine Congress MLAs under the anti-defection law, hours after the imposition of President’s rule on 27 March. The move came from the Centre, a day before the Harish Rawat government was scheduled to go for a floor test.

On 30 March, a bench headed by Chief Justice KM Joseph stayed the floor test until 7 April. Initially, the high court had allowed a floor test after Harish Rawat had filed a writ petition. But the court put a stay on its own decision after the Centre objected to the floor test.

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