Dehradun: Uttrakhand Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal on Saturday sought for dismissal of a plea of nine Congress MLAs in High Court against their disqualification from the Assembly saying they violated the law against defection and deserved to be punished for it.
Appearing for Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal, counsel Kapil Sibal said the question to be put to the nine dissident MLAs is "how they went to BJP" and whether "they (nine) have violated the 10th schedule of the Constitution".
"If they have violated the 10th schedule, how can they seek stay of disqualification," the senior counsel asked.
"How can they seek stay of disqualification when according to the division bench (of Uttarakhand High Court) they have committed the Constitutional sin of defection?" he said.
"When they joined the BJP and signed the memorandum (for division of votes), they knew it was unethical and unconstitutional," Sibal argued before Justice UC Dhyani the Speaker's case during hearing on the petition filed by the nine MLAs against their disqualification.
He contended that by joining the BJP, the nine MLAs have "voluntarily given up their party membership" as they voted against the party's policy (on the Appropriation Bill) and also voted for the fall of the government.
Sibal sought the dismissal their plea on the ground that they stated "falsehoods" before the court by contending that they were not given the documents relied upon by the Speaker.
The dismissal was also pleaded on the grounds that the petitioners did not disclose crucial material, which was in their possession, before the court and that they "jumped the hierarchy of courts".
He said that on these three grounds the High Court need not entertain the petitions filed under Article 226 challenging their disqualification.
"On these three grounds the petitions should be dismissed at the threshold without going into the merits," he said adding that the "political motivation" of the nine for moving the high court was to get a stay on disqualification "so that they can vote on floor test of March 28".
The development comes hours after Congress leaders today gave notices to discuss the matter in Rajya Sabha suspending the question hour and adoption of a resolution condemning the imposition of President's Rule here.
The notices was given by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Deputy Leader of Congress in the House, Anand Sharma, seeking to corner the NDA government on the issue accusing it of "destabilising" a democratically-elected government in Uttarakhand.
Ever since the dismissal of the Rawat government and clamping of central rule, Congress has mounted an offensive against the Narendra Modi dispensation.
The party had started 'Loktantra Bachao, Uttarakhand Bachao' (Save Democracy, Save Uttarakhand) campaign to mobilise public support against the Centre.
The Supreme Court yesterday stayed till April 27 the judgement of the state High Court quashing imposition of President's rule, giving a new turn to the continuing political drama in the state by restoring central rule there.
Congress is trying to project the imposition of President's Rule in Uttarakhand and earlier in another party- ruled state of Arunachal Pradesh as an "attack" on the federal structure and is hopeful that a large number of Opposition parties will back it in cornering the government on the issue.
(With Agency inputs)