Dehradun: The Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday advanced the date of hearing in the nine rebel Congress MLAs' disqualification case to May 7.
The move came after the rebel legislators requested for an early hearing in the case.
The Nainital bench of the High Court arrived at the decision after meeting both parties.
The rebel MLAs, led by Vijay Bahuguna, had earlier questioned the constitutional validity of their disqualification after Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal disqualified them, saying they violated the defection law and deserved to be punished.
Eight of the nine rebel Congress legislators earlier moved the High Court on two grounds - that they were not given enough time by the Speaker to respond to the charges and that they were not provided 'proof' of their alleged anti-party activities.
The conflict between the Congress and their legislators arose during a debate over the Finance Bill during Budget Session of the Uttarakhand Assembly.
The Speaker had on March 27 disqualified the nine Congress MLAs, including Bahuguna, who spearheaded the rebellion against ousted chief minister Harish Rawat under the anti-defection law.
In the number game, the Congress will have the upper hand if the court upholds the Speaker's move to disqualify the MLAs.
In the 70-member assembly, the Congress has 27 members excluding the nine legislators.