New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to interfere with the Maharashtra Governor’s direction to the Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition government to prove majority in the state assembly on Thursday.
The Supreme Court said, it was not staying tomorrow’s floor test. But it will be subject to the outcome of the present writ petition.
The Supreme Court said that we are issuing notice to the parties. We will hear on merits along with other cases on July 11.
The result of tomorrow will depend on the final outcome of this petition, the apex court said.
A two-judge vacation bench headed by Justice Surya Kant and also comprising Justice J B Pardiwala, passed the order, after hearing the petition filed by Shiv Sena’s Chief Whip to stay tomorrow’s floor test in Maharashtra assembly ordered by the Governor.
Supreme Court allowed jailed MLAs Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh to participate in the floor test in the Special Session of Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha tomorrow. Since they are in judicial custody in cases registered by ED/CBI, both the agencies are directed to escort them to the Vidhan Sabha hall. When proceedings are over, applicants shall be brought back to judicial custody.
Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, senior lawyer appearing for the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA), said that one preliminary point is that the letter tells about the floor test. Yesterday evening, the LOP met the governor and today at around 10 am, we received the intimation that the floor test is tomorrow.
The floor test determines which section of people represent the people in the government, and it really makes a true majority and those eligible to be included, Dr Singhvi said.
The whole country knows that the Supreme Court is seized of the matter. It can’t that the Governor in a sense can short circuit or irrelevant of the Speaker’s proceedings. The right thing for everyone is to wait for the decision of the Supreme Court, Dr Singhvi said.
He said that the floor test cannot be normally held without an interval of 6 months.
Justice Surya Kant asked Dr Singhvi that is there a constitutional provision? Dr Singhvi replied that normally the vote of confidence can’t be held without a 6 months interval. Look at the balance of convenience other way round.
Justice Kant asked how does the floor test depend upon the qualification or disqualification issue?
Dr Singhvi replied it is directly interrelated. Court has held that disqualification once found by the Speaker relates back to the date of disqualification. These MLAs would stand disqualification on the 21st when they complained to the Speaker. So they cannot be treated as members from that date.
Senior lawyer, Neeraj Kishan Kaul appearing for Eknath Shinde group, said that till the Speaker’s own removal is decided and it is for him to decide his right.
“The floor test can’t be delayed and the only way to stop the horse trading is that to do a floor test, it is the only way to have a good political accountability also in the other way,” Kaul argued before the Supreme Court and pleaded that the test should be conducted tomorrow.
The Governor has the power, jurisdiction and authority to go ahead and issue a direction that the floor test can be conducted as per the statute, Kaul argued.
He further said that this is an area carved out for the discretion of the Governor. Unless the decision of the Governor is held to be grossly irrational, wrong or malafide, there can be no interference with his order.
Hopeless minority in the party itself going on. The floor test could be immediately done. It is only to be known, when a floor test can be done whether the govt has a majority or the figures or not. It is the real democracy we have, if we follow this, Kaul said.
Constitutional propriety calls for a floor test in the case. This can only be done and political accountability can be achieved by doing and conducting the floor test, Kaul said.
Holding a floor test is very necessary to know that the ministers, including that of the CM, have the confidence of the MLAs or not. It is absolutely necessary, Kaul said.
The best recourse is to know the fact that whether the government at present is having a majority or not in the House, and the way is to conduct a floor test only and only and only, Kaul said.