Quash Governor’s Decision to Invite Shinde to be Maharashtra CM: Shiv Sena Plea in SC

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The plea submitted that the Governor cannot recognise rebel MLAs as a political party as that would ring a death knell on the working of a multi-party democracy.

NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on July 11 a fresh plea by General Secretary of Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray faction, challenging the governor’s action of inviting Eknath Shinde to be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Senior advocate Devadatt Kamat, representing Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai, mentioned the matter before a bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and J.K. Maheshwari and said that they seek listing of the fresh plea along with other pending petitions which are scheduled for hearing on July 11.

“We are challenging the appointment of Eknath Shinde as chief minister,” Kamat said.

The top court said it will be listed before an appropriate bench on July 11.

The plea said: “It is submitted that the action of the Governor dated June 30, 2022 in calling Respondent No. 4 to be the Chief Minister is completely arbitrary and unconstitutional.The president of Shiv Sena is Uddhav Thackeray. The last organisational elections were held in 2018 and the same was intimated to the Election Commission of India. There is no change to the organisational structure of the Shiv Sena and the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray is undisputed and unchallenged.”

A rebellion by Shinde-led Shiv Sena MLAs resulted in the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

The plea submitted that the Governor cannot recognise rebel MLAs as a political party as that would ring a death knell on the working of a multi-party democracy.

The plea said there is no merger as envisaged under para 4 of the Tenth Schedule and the President of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray) had publicly and admittedly not aligned/supported the BJP. “These rebel MLAs have not merged in any other political party or formed a new political party, therefore even if it is assumed they formed 2/3rd strength of the Legislature party, para 4 of the Tenth Schedule is not at all attracted,” it added.

The plea contended in these circumstances, the satisfaction of the Governor for the purpose of calling upon Shinde to be the Chief Minister as the head of 39 rebel MLAs of Shiv Sena (which is not endorsed by the Shiv Sena) is by itself ex facie unconstitutional.

“The Constitution prohibits recognition of rebel MLAs of a political party under Tenth Schedule, and the action of the Governor legitimises what is expressly prohibited by the Constitution. The Governor has sought to recognise what the Constitution prohibits,” said the plea.

In these circumstances, the Governor in his ipsi dixit guided by his political masters acted malafide and in the teeth of the provisions of the Constitution granted de-facto recognition to the 39 rebel MLAs by inviting Respondent No. 4 to be the Chief Minister.”

The plea sought a direction from the top court to quash the decision of the Governor to invite Shinde to take oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, and form the government.

“Pass an appropriate writ/order/direction quashing the illegal proceedings of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly held on 03.07.2022, and consequently the election of the Speaker; and/or c. pass an appropriate writ/order/direction quashing the illegal proceedings of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly held on 04.07.2022, and consequently the Confidence Motion in favour of Respondent No. 4 (Shinde),” it added. — IANS

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Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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