New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly on May 10 when sacked Chief Minister Harish Rawat will seek a vote of confidence during which the nine disqualified Congress MLAs may be able to vote if the High Court permits them.
Meanwhile, the Centre today agreed to hold a floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly under the supervision of the Supreme Court, with Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi requesting the apex court to appoint an observer and that it should be a retired Chief Election Commissioner.
In a significant order detailing the modalities of the floor test to be conducted on Tuesday between 11 AM and 1 PM for the single agenda, the 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.
Incidentally, the petition of the disqualified MLAs will come up tomorrow before the Uttarakhand High Court. If these MLAs are allowed to vote, Rawat's fate in the 70-member Assembly may be sealed.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Attorney General told the apex court that the government has not been able to form an opinion on the subject and asked for two more days to come up with a decision.
However, the apex court clarified that it would hold a final hearing to dispose of this matter quickly if the Centre says no to the floor test suggestion.
Rohatgi told the media later the Supreme Court has made it clear that even if the floor test is to take place, it will not mean the restoration of status quo ante.
"Which means the position at the time when the President's rule was imposed won't be restored. Namely of a chief minister and a government, so that position is out," he said.
"The actual modalities will be decided by the court, even in relation to the nine disqualified persons because their petition is pending," he added.
An apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra had on April 27 directed the continuation of President's rule in Uttarakhand.