In what could be considered as a major constitutional setback to Narendra Modi-led NDA government, the Uttarakhand High Court today quashed the Centre’s rule imposed by the Union government and revived the Harish Rawat-led Congress government from dead. “The imposition of Centre rule under Article 356 is rather illegal, unconstitutional and against norms of democracy. Harish Rawat should prove his majority on April 29” the bench said. The state government was dismissed a day before the trial of strength takes place in the Assembly.
In another significant observation, the High Court made it clear that the rebel congress MLAs shall be dismissed before the trial of strength. They committed a constitutional sin and have no moral right to participate in the voting, it said.
Ripping through the Centre’s move, the High Court asked the hurry with which the Modi government acted. The elected government shall be given a chance to prove its majority and that is precisely what the apex court said in the SR Bommai case. ‘Proclamation of Article 356 cannot be arbitrary even if it is ratified by the Union Cabinet” it said.
Congress, greatly elated over the judgement, said it’s stand vindicated and that the Centre’s manoeuvres were exposed. Harish Rawat has summoned all his MLAs to Dehradun to discuss the further course of action.
The Centre, which is arguing that a great deal of horse-trading is going on and forced it to impose the President Rule, has been mulling to knock the doors of Supreme Court.