“Floor test is the best test” Uttarakhand High Court directs floor test on March 31 [Read Order]

Justice US Dhyani of the Uttarakhand High Court has directed a floor test in the state Assembly this Thursday. The court was hearing a petition filed by former Chief Minister, Harish Rawat against the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.

The High Court has also ruled that the nine “rebel” MP’s who were disqualified by the Speaker of the Assembly will be allowed to participate in the floor test. However, their votes will be kept separate with the Registrar General deputed to be an observer of the floor test.

Represented by senior counsels Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Harin Raval, Rawat had argued that a floor test was, in fact, scheduled for March 28 but the Centre acted in “great haste” and imposed President’s Rule on March 27 itself. The Central government, represented by ASG Tushar Mehta, Nalin Kohli and Rakesh Thapaliyal, is reportedly contemplating a challenge to this order.

In the 26-page order, the High Court has largely recorded the various submissions made during the course of arguments. Allowing the nine “rebel” MP’s to intervene in the matter, the court eventually goes onto hold that,

“This Court intends to pass an interim order without prejudice to rival contentions, but according to the constitutional postulates. Floor test is the best test, as has been held by the Hon’ble Apex Court on a number of occasions

…..

The rival factions are going to lose nothing if a request is made to the Speaker to permit all the MLAs to participate in the floor test, with, without or despite their disqualifications. The result of such floor test, to be kept in a sealed cover by the Speaker, will also disclose as to whether the vote seeking confidence has been passed or not. Had 09 disqualified Members not participated, whether the confidence motion has been passed? What will be the position if 09 disqualified Members also participate on motion seeking confidence of the House? The same shall be evaluated by the Court at the time of final adjudication of the writ petition, after the pleadings are exchanged.”

Passing a set of detailed instructions as to the floor test, the court has now listed the matter for 1 pm this Friday.

Read the full order below.

Uttarakhand-Order