Uttarakhand Chief Justice Who Quashed President's Rule Has Been Transferred

04/05/2016 12:05 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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NEW DELHI -- Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court K.M. Joseph, who presided over a bench which quashed the imposition of President's Rule in the state by the Modi government, has been transferred to the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

ANI reported this development on Wednesday.

Joseph, 57, took charge of the Uttarakhand High Court in 2014. He is a graduate of Government Law College in Ernakulam, Kerala.

In March, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre described the Congress Party government in Uttarakhand as "unconstitutional and immoral", and imposed President's Rule in the state.

The crisis in Uttarakhand was triggered on March 18, when nine Congress Party leaders rebelled against Chief Minister Harish Rawat, and joined 27 lawmakers from the BJP in seeking dismissal of his government. The Centre imposed President's Rule on March 27, just a day before a floor test was scheduled for Rawat to prove whether his government had a majority.

While the BJP and rebel leaders accused Rawat of horse-trading over lawmakers, the Congress Party called the imposition of President's Rule as the "murder of democracy," and an attempt by its political rival to establish a Congress-mukt Bharat.

Then, the Congress Party moved the Uttarakhand High Court.

While quashing President's Rule in the state, Joseph said that the Centre should be impartial, and admonished the Modi government for acting like a "private party."

“We are pained that the Central government can behave like this. How can you think of playing with the Court?," he said in April.

The Hindustan Times reported that Panchjanya, mouthpiece of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, attacked Joseph over his judgment, and alleged that his family was close to the Congress Party.

The Supreme Court has stayed the decision of the Uttarakhand High Court to revoke President's Rule in Uttarakhand. The next hearing on Centre's plea against the High Court's order is scheduled for May 6.

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