Nainital: The Congress Chief whip on Thursday told the Uttarakhand High Court that the nine rebel MLAs had neither in their plea challenging their disqualification nor before the Speaker had said they were willing to support another Congress government under a different chief minister.

The submission was made before Justice UC Dhyani by advocate Amit Sibal who contended that the rebel MLAs were not
denied natural justice and that the Speaker’s order was not filed in haste.

“They have not said in their writ petition or before the Speaker that they were willing to support another Congress government under another Congress CM,” he said rejecting the argument of the MLAs in the court that they had not left the Congress and were prepared to support a government of the party if Harish Rawat was removed as chief minister.

Former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat. PTI

Former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat. PTI

He also said that the Attorney General had yesterday told the Supreme Court that the nine MLAs voted against the appropriation bill but the counsel for the rebels, who was there in the court, “did not deny it”.

Sibal said the nine have moved a transfer petition in the apex court to transfer the disqualification matter there but the plea has not been listed for hearing due to ‘office objections’ and has not even been mentioned before the apex court.

“They are keeping it pending to keep their options open,” Sibal said, to which the judge said “this court is not concerned with that petition”.

Sibal also said that all documents, including the joint memo sent to the Governor, relied upon by the Speaker were provided to the dissident Congress MLAs during the disqualification proceedings.

“They pretended to not know what joint memo Speaker was talking about in the show cause notice,” he said and added “they were the author of the joint memo”.

Meanwhile, advocate Rajeshwar Singh, appearing for the nine MLAs, said the joint memo was not filed by the complainant.

He also said there was more than one joint memo and it was not clear which one the Speaker was referring to in the show-cause notice.

Singh also argued that the joint memo which the Speaker had relied upon was given to them only on 25 March.

Responding to this argument, Sibal said there was only one joint memo to the Governor.

After the brief arguments, the court listed the matter for further hearing on 9 May.

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Rebel MLAs not denied natural justice, Congress chief whip tells Uttarakhand HC