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सेमिनार: अंग्रेज़ी सीखने का अवसर (23 सितंबर: दोपहर 3 बजे)
Floor Test in Uttarakhand Assembly on May 10
May 07, 2016

The Supreme Court gave its nod to conduct a floor test in the Uttarakhand assembly on May 10. A division bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justice Shiva Kriti Singh passed the order and said the Uttarakhand assembly will conduct a floor test on May 10.

Earlier, the apex court had asked Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi to take suggestions from the Central Government whether a floor test can be conducted in the Assembly or not.

  • Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi informed the court that the Centre was ready for a floor test and asked the apex court to appoint an observer for the same. There should be one agenda and the observer should be a retired chief election commissioner.

  • The proceedings of the floor test will be videograped and President's rule will be temporarily lifted for two and a half hours when the vote of confidence will take place.

  • 9 disqualified MLAs can't be allowed to take part in vote of confidence.

  • Vote of confidence will be the only agenda for May 10 special session.

  • Chief Secretary and DGP will ensure safe passage for members.

An apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, had on April 27, directed to continue the President's rule for the while. The Centre had introduced President's rule on March 27.

The two-judge division bench, comprising of Justice Dipak Mishra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, had also asked several questions to the Centre asking it to justify imposition of President's rule in the state.

Hearing the Centre's plea against the Uttarakhand High Court order, the apex court sought to know whether the Governor could have sent a message in the present manner under Article 175(2) to conduct a floor test and if delay in the floor test can be a ground for the proclamation of President's rule in the state.

The apex court has also sought to know whether disqualification of MLAs by the Uttarakhand Speaker is a relevant issue for the purpose of imposing President's rule under Article 356 and proceedings in the Uttarakhand assembly can be taken note of by the President for imposing his rule.

The apex court further asked the Centre as to what the stage is of the Appropriation Bill and when President's rule comes into the picture with regards to the Appropriation Bill.

Other Judgments of the Apex Court

  • The Supreme Court’s judgments in S.R. Bommai v Union of India (1994) and Rameshwar Prasad v Union of India (2006) have dealt with such situations. In both the cases, the Court laid down detailed guidelines to be followed by the Governor and the Centre.

In the S.R. Bommai case, the Supreme Court dealt with the case of dismissal of six State governments–in Karnataka, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. The cases of Karnataka, Meghalaya and Nagaland were similar in that in all these States the incumbent governments were dismissed and President’s Rule was imposed on the basis of the Governors’ satisfaction that the governments had lost the majority support in the respective Assemblies, without giving them an opportunity for a floor test.  The Court held the proclamation of President’s Rule in these States unconstitutional because in each of these States, the Governor hastily recommended exercise of power under Article 356. Although the Court could not revive the dissolved Assemblies and the dismissed governments as Assembly elections had taken place subsequently, all parties to the case requested the Court to express itself on all the issues arising from these cases so that the principles enunciated by the Court could serve as guidelines for the future.

The judgment of the Supreme Court in Rameshwar Prasad & Others v. Union of India on January 24, 2006 holding the dissolution of the Bihar Assembly as illegal and unconstitutional has enunciated far-reaching constitutional principles and will have wide ramifications. Although the Court held the dissolution unconstitutional it did not direct status quo ante and the revival of the assembly. Earlier, in an interim order delivered on the 7th October 2005, the Bench had, even while finding the dissolution unconstitutional, expressed its inability to restore the dissolved Assembly in view of the electoral process under way then to constitute a new Assembly.

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