Centre Wants Remarks Against President Expunged, May Move Supreme Court

New Delhi: The union government is likely to move the Supreme Court to expunge the comments made by the Uttarakhand High Court on President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday while hearing the case over imposition of central rule in the state.

“The government does not approve such harsh comments against the president. We will definitely move the Supreme Court, requesting it to expunge the comments,” a union minister said on the condition of anonymity.

“Such comments against the president will put a wrong precedent, if not objected to,” the minister added.

A bench of the Uttarakhand High Court in Nainital said the country’s president was not a king who could be infallible.

The strong rebuke over the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand came as the bench observed: “Absolute power can spoil anybody’s mind and even the president can be wrong and in that case his decisions can be subjected to evaluation.”

The bench said the right to judicial evaluation of orders passed by everyone lies with the courts.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also expressed displeasure over the high court’s comments.

“The court should have refrained from using such language against the president. After independence, no institution has ever made such strong observation against the president,” BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya told news agency IANS.

“The post of president is supreme in our democracy and such remarks will unnecessarily instigate a new debate in the country,” he added.

Vijayvargiya, who has played a key role for the BJP in the Uttarakhand political crisis, also said that options were open to move the Supreme Court.

“We have taken strong cognizance of the high court’s unfortunate remarks. Options are open to move the Supreme Court to ask it to quash the remarks,” he said.

He claimed that the BJP still enjoyed majority in the state assembly and was ready to prove it if given an opportunity.

The court had criticised the central government during the previous hearing over the imposition of President’s Rule on March 27, a day before the floor test was due to be carried out in the state assembly.

The Uttarakhand political crisis commenced when nine Congress legislators, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, whom Rawat replaced, revolted against the chief minister.

They turned to the BJP for support.

In the 70-member assembly, the Congress had 36 legislators, including the nine rebels. The BJP had 28. The other six members, from smaller parties, were said to support the Congress.