New Delhi: Sacked Chief Minister Harish Rawat today got a major boost ahead of the confidence vote in the Uttarakhand Assembly tomorrow with the High Court dismissing the petition of nine Congress MLAs challenging their disqualification and the Supreme Court refusing to give any relief to them.
It is advantage Rawat as Justice U C Dhyani of the High Court dismissed two writ petitions filed by the rebel Congress MLAs against the Speaker's action, holding that by their conduct the lawmakers have "voluntarily given up membership of their political party", a ground for disqualification under the anti-defection law.
"This court, subject to scrutiny of Speaker's action on the principles of natural justice, therefore, holds that the ingredients of paragraph 2 (1) (a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution are met against the petitioners.
The nine rebel Congress MLAs had earlier approached the apex court for an urgent hearing against the Uttarakhand High Court's order dismissing their plea which challenged their disqualification.
The rebel MLAs moved the apex court this morning after Justice U.C. Dhyani of the Uttarakhand High Court pronounced his order dismissing their petition challenging Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal's decision to disqualify them.
The nine Congress MLAs had stood against their party on March 18 and supported the BJP by asking for a division of votes on the Appropriation Bill, after which the Speaker had disqualified them.
Earlier, the apex court had said the disqualified MLAs would not be able to cast their vote as long as their disqualification remained.
Excluding the nine disqualified Congress 'rebel' MLAs, the floor test will involve 27 Congress MLAs, 28 BJP MLAs, six PDF members and one nominated member.
The total members to vote being 62, Harish Rawat will need 32 votes to be reinstated as the chief minister of Uttarakhand.