President’s Rule in Uttarakhand to Continue

The Supreme Court on Friday (April 22) stayed till April 27 the judgement of the Uttarakhand High Court quashing the imposition of President’s rule, giving a new turn to the continuing political drama in the state by restoring the Central rule there. Before passing a brief order, a 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 apex court clarified that it was keeping in abeyance the judgement of the High Court till the next date of hearing on April 27 as a measure of balance for both the parties as the copy of the verdict was not made available to the parties. While listing the matter for hearing on April 27, the bench said that the High Court shall provide the judgement passed yesterday to the parties by April 26 and on the same date the copy of the verdict shall also be placed before the apex court. The Supreme Court’s stay has the effect of undoing the revival of the Congress government led by Harish Rawat by the High Court judgement yesterday. During the hearing, the bench also observed that as a matter of propriety the High Court should have signed the verdict so that it would be appropriate for it to go into the appeal. The apex court issued notice to Harish Rawat and Chief Seceretary of the state on the petition by Centre challenging the quashing of Presidential proclamation under Article 356 of the Constitution in the state. Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, along with senior advocate Harish Salve, pressed for the stay of the HC judgement. He said how one party can be put at advantage and assume the office of Chief Minister when the other party is pushed to disadvantage in the absence of the judgement. Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal, appearing for Rawat and the Assembly Speaker, argued hard against the passing of any interim order saying “you are allowing the appeal by giving the stay”.

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