Disqualified Congress MLAs' plea: Uttarakhand HC to pronounce order on May 9

If the nine Congress MLAs are allowed to vote, former chief minister Harish Rawat's fate in the 70-member Assembly may be sealed.

Disqualified Congress MLAs' plea: Uttarakhand HC to pronounce order on May 9

Dehradun: Uttarakhand High Court on Saturday reserved its judgement for May 9 on the petition challenging disqualification of nine rebel Congress MLAs.

The HC will pronounce its verdict at 10 am on May 9.

"The hearing has been concluded. I will pronounce the judgement at 10.15 AM on May 9," Justice UC Dhyani said in brief remarks counsel at the conclusion of nearly three hours of arguments on both sides. 

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly on May 10, 

If these MLAs are allowed to vote, former chief minister Harish Rawat's fate in the 70-member Assembly may be sealed.

The apex court directed that the nine rebel Congress MLAs, who have challenged their disqualification by the Speaker in the High Court, will not participate in the floor test "if they have the same status" at the time of vote of confidence.

With the top court order, the effective strength of the House will be reduced from 70 to 61 in which any party mustering the support of 31 MLAs will have the majority.

The rebel Congress MLAs had sided with BJP to demand a division of votes on the Appropriation Bill in the state Assembly.

Uttarakhand was plunged into political uncertainty after nine Congress legislators, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, whom Harish Rawat replaced, revolted and turned to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The crisis peaked on March 18 when the assembly passed the Appropriation Bill by voice vote even as the opposition sought recorded voting. Speaker Govind Kunjwal declined the request, leading the BJP to cry foul.

Rawat was then asked by Governor KK Paul to prove his majority on March 28 but a day before that the central government ousted his government by imposing President's Rule. Rawat immediately went to court.

The Uttarakhand High Court by its April 21 verdict had quashed the President's rule.