In a jolt to the Centre, the Uttarkhand High Court today ordered a floor test in the Assembly on March 31, giving a new turn to the political developments two days after President's Rule was imposed in the state.
Justice U C Dhyani also allowed nine disqualified rebel MLAs of Congress to participate in the voting but their votes will be kept separate and will be subject to final outcome of the petition challenging their disqualification.
There was no clarity on whether by ordering the floor test, the President's Rule imposed on Sunday is stayed and whether the dismissed Harish Rawat government has been restored.
The Centre may challenge the verdict before the Division Bench of the High Court tomorrow. Congress also plans to approach the Division Bench relating to the part of the judgement that deals with the disqualified MLAs.
The votes of the disqualified MLAs will be taken into account subject to final outcome of the case, senior Supreme Court lawyer and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters after the second day of the hearing here.
Singhvi appeared for the sacked Chief Minister Harish Rawat who had challenged the imposition of President's Rule and demanded its immediate quashing.
Rawat welcomed the order, saying it was a "tremendous setback" for the Centre which was trying to bring "authoritarianism". But this order would deter them from trying to destablise non-BJP governments in states, he said.
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