Supreme Court declines relief to Uttarakhand MLAs


New Delhi: Supreme Court struck down the imposition of President's Rule in Arunachal Pradesh. Subsequently, in Uttarakhand, nine MLAs, who broke away from the Congress and joined the BJP, were dismissed by the Speaker of the Assembly under the anti-defection law on 27 March 2016. A bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and Rohinton F. Nariman agreed to hear the plea on 20 July.

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Alternatively, the legislators have sought a reconsideration of the speaker’s decision to disqualify them, relying on a recent Constitution bench ruling of the Supreme Court in the Arunachal Pradesh case.

“The speaker, who is facing a motion for removal, cannot disqualify members of the assembly,” the court had said in its 13 July verdict. In the Uttarakhand assembly, a motion for removal of speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal was pending when the nine rebels were disqualified.

The centre in March brought Uttarakhand under President’s rule following a political crisis. The Harish Rawat-led Congress government was reinstated in May after the Supreme Court ordered a trust vote on the floor of the assembly.

Subsequently nine rebel Congress MLAs were disqualified by Kunjwal for backing the BJP. The Uttarakhand high court upheld the speaker’s 27 March decision to disqualify the nine MLAs, after which an appeal was filed before the Supreme Court.

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