New Delhi: The Supreme Court is set to hear the Centre’s appeal against the Uttarakhand high court ruling setting aside President’s rule in the state on Wednesday. The verdict was stayed on Friday, because a copy of the same wasn’t available. The apex court had directed the high court to ensure a copy was filed by 26 April.

Here are five quotes from the 99-page judgement of the high court:

1. The high court, through a two-judge bench comprising chief justice K.M. Joseph and V.K. Bist found that the powers to issue President’s rule in a state under Article 356 was used in a manner “contrary to law".

“The present case, which was set into motion with 18.03.2016 as day one and saw an unfolding of events culminating in the proclamation being issued in less than 10 days on 27.03.2016, brings to the fore a situation, where Article 356 has been used contrary to the law laid down by the apex court."

2. The court set aside president’s rule, in what would likely be a first by a high court in the country.

“In the light of this, necessarily, the proclamation dated 27.03.2016 issued under Article 356 will stand quashed...we further direct that status quo, as on the date of the proclamation, must necessarily be restored. This means that the government led by the petitioner (ousted chief minister Harish Rawat) will revive."

The verdict was pronounced in open court and the court made it clear that the Rawat-led government would be back in power.

3. The court had rather stinging criticism of the argument that the President could take a different view from the governor based on the events of 18 March (the passing of the state budget had failed, according to the Centre) despite the fact that the governor had ordered a floor test scheduled for 28 March.

“We are also not oblivious to the grave danger associated with the acceptance of the learned attorney general’s argument. If this is allowed, it can possibly result in undue interference in the affairs of the state legislatures leading to unwarranted imposition of president’s rule. The federal framework, within which the country functions, could shrivel up and break down. This does not auger well for the nation."

4. On the issue of a sting operation done on Rawat revealing corruption, the high court condemned it, but found acts of an individual pale in the face of issues of democracy and federalism.

“It is true that corruption is an issue, which we are completely aghast at. It is not to be taken as an endorsement of any kind of wrongdoing. India has had enough of it. It is, no doubt, true that this is an issue, which continues to plague our body polity and we have absolutely no sympathy for those, who indulge in corruption at any level and if, indeed, it has happened, whatever we may say in the judgment otherwise will not preclude any action, which he would be otherwise subjected to in accordance with law... There are cases, where judges are confronted with the plight of not having black and white issues. Individuals pale into relative insignificance and what emerges more relevant are the greater values, which, in this case, include democracy and federalism."

5. The court accepted the argument of Rawat’s lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi that the order for President’s rule was a “double whammy" on the powers of the Speaker and the Governor.

“On 26.03.2016, apparently, the Governor writes; the Cabinet, apparently, meets on the basis of the same in the night on the same day; the proceedings for disqualification were to culminate on 27.03.2016; and the floor test was to take place on 28.03.2016. Therefore, we cannot brush aside the argument of Abhishek Manu Singhvi, learned senior counsel for the petitioner, that this is an extra-ordinary case and first time in the history of India, by action under Article 356, there is a double whammy by hitting at the authority of the speaker under the Tenth Schedule, as also the governor, who had fixed the date of floor test as 28.03.2016. This is for the reason that the effect of the notification under Article 356 is that it prevents the holding of the floor test on 28.03.2016, as ordered by the governor, and also appears to cloud the authority of the speaker."

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