A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh allowed the Centre's plea to modify the May 6 order in which the designation of the officer was stated as Principal Secretary (Legislative Assembly).

The Centre had moved an application saying the officials concerned have written a letter to the Chief Secretary stating there is no Principal Secretary (Legislative Assembly) designation in the state and they can only act when a clarification is issued by the apex court.

Congress had opposed the plea, saying that allowing Principal Secretary (Legislative Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs) would amount to the participation of an outsider in the Assembly.

The party had submitted that the Secretary (Legislative Assembly) who is under the supervision of the Speaker should be allowed to oversee the floor test.

However, the apex court rejected the contention and said that the purpose of entrusting the job to an official was to maintain the neutrality in the House.

The bench further said the floor test in the House will go ahead tomorrow in accordance with the May 6 order.  The Supreme Court will pass at 4 PM today its interim order on the plea of nine rebel Congress MLAs seeking permission to participate in the floor test.

9 disqualified Congress MLAs of Uttarakhand approach the Supreme Court against dismissal of their plea in High Court.

Earlier, the Uttarakhand High Court today dismissed the petition of nine rebel Congress MLAs challenging their disqualification, holding that by their conduct they have "voluntarily given up membership of their political party", implying that they can be disqualified on that ground.

"This court, subject to scrutiny of Speaker's action on the principles of natural justice, therefore, holds that the ingredients of paragraph 2 (1) (a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution are met against the petitioners.

"By their conduct, it has been established that they have 'voluntarily given up membership of their political party', even if they have not become members of any other political party," Justice U C Dhyani said in his 57-page judgement.

He was giving a verdict on the two writ petitions filed by the nine MLAs against Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal in disqualifying them for joining hands with BJP MLAs against the Congress government headed by Harish Singh Rawat.

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