Published On : Wed, Apr 27th, 2016

President rule in Uttarakhand: SC asks 7 questions, seeks Centre’s reply

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to test the Centre’s knowledge of the Constitution. It framed seven questions related to the March 27 imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand and sought the Centre’s answers to them.

The apex court was hearing the Centre’s plea against the Uttarakhand High Court’s order which on April 21 set aside President’s rule that was imposed in the state on March 27.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra had on Friday stayed the high court’s verdict that reinstated the Harish Rawat government.

Uttarakhand came under President’s rule again after the Supreme Court stayed the High Court’s order.

On Wednesday, saying that Speaker is the master of the Assembly, the top court asked the Centre the following questions.

1.Can a delay in the floor test be grounds for proclaiming President’s Rule?

2.Is the disqualification of MLAs by the Speaker a relevant issue for the purposes of invoking President’s rule under Article 356?

3.Can proceedings in the assembly be considered by the President for imposing Central rule?

4.Could the Governor have sent a message – the way he did – under Article 175 (2) for conducting the floor test?

5.Can the Governor ask the Speaker for the division of votes as both are constitutional authorities?

6.The convention is that if a money bill fails the government has to go, but who is to say a money bill hasn’t been passed if the Speaker doesn’t say so?

7.What is the status of an appropriation bill when President’s rule is imposed?”

The apex court had earlier clarified that it is keeping in abeyance the judgment of the High Court until the next date of hearing, which is today, as a measure of balance for both the parties as the copy of the verdict was not made available to the parties.