New Delhi, Nov 14 (PTI) The Supreme Court today termed as “academic” the appeals of then nine rebel Congress MLAs of Uttarakhand challenging the Nainital High Court order that had upheld their disqualification by the Speaker of the assembly.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud disposed of the pleas of MLAs, saying that a new assembly has come into being now.
The top court, however, made clear that it would hear the appeal of the Centre against the High Court verdict holding as “unconstitutional” the imposition of the President rule in the hill state by sacking the then Congress government.
“In our considered opinion the Special Leave Petitions (of MLAs) have become academic in nature and the new legislature assembly has come into being,” the bench said.
It further said that the individual grievances of then disqualified MLAs do not survive.
The court posted the matter for further hearing after 12 weeks.
The apex court had in September last year refused to stay the disqualification of then nine rebel Congress MLAs in the Uttarakhand, including state’s former Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna.
It had also refused to discuss the constitutionality of the decision taken by then Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal to disqualify the nine MLAs when a motion for his own removal was pending in the House.
The rebels, who have now joined the BJP, had based their petition against the Speaker’s disqualification on the recent Constitution Bench judgement in the Arunachal Pradesh case.
A five-judge bench had held that a Speaker, facing motion for removal, cannot disqualify lawmakers who are part of the motion.
The Centre had dismissed the then Congress government and imposed President’s rule after nine Congress MLAs sided with the BJP on the Appropriation Bill.
The rebel MLAs were subsequently disqualified by the speaker under the anti-defection law, a decision that was upheld by the high court.
The apex court-mandated floor test had led to revival of the Harish Rawat government in the state.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.