Rescind Maharashtra Governor’s Order for Floor Test, Thackeray Group to SC on Last Day of Hearing

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NEW DELHI – The Uddhav Thackeray group on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to set aside the then Maharashtra Governor’s order for him to take a floor test.

The top court, after hearing submissions for nine days , reserved its judgment on a batch of cross-petitions of Thackeray and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde groups in connection with the Maharashtra political crisis.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the Thackeray group, submitted before a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud that democracy will be in danger if it is not overturned, while stressing on setting aside Governor’s order to the then Chief Minister Thackeray to take a floor test.

In June last year, then Governor B.S. Koshyari asked Thackeray to take a floor test. Sibal pressed on rescinding the order, a day after the top court shot a volley of tough questions at Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Governor, on the Governor’s decision to call for a trust vote and observed that the Governor should not enter into any area which precipitates the fall of a government.

The bench had stressed that the Governor of a state cannot lend his office to effectuate a particular result and asked Mehta, how a difference of opinion among MLAs within a party could become a sufficient ground for the Governor to call for the floor test?

Sibal, who concluded his rejoinder arguments, submitted that he is absolutely certain that without the intervention of this court, the country’s democracy will be in danger because no elected government will be allowed to survive.

“It is with this hope I make this plea to this court to allow this petition and set aside the order (of floor test) of the Governor.”

Sibal said if rebel Shiv Sena MLAs had lost their faith in the government, they could have voted against it in the House when a money bill was moved and they could have reduced it to a minority.

He further added that it is not that the government cannot run in minority and cited that former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao ran a minority government, while insisting that there was no scope for the Governor to recognise the rebel MLAs and call for the floor test. He submitted that Governors can only deal with alliances and political parties and not individuals, otherwise it will create havoc and also referred to the Emergency imposed by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

He said that there have been occasions like the ADM Jabalpur, 1976 verdict, which is in dissonance with what this court has done over years and this is an equally significant case for our democracy to survive.

The bench, also comprising Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha, reserved its judgment after hearing submissions from both groups and also the office of the Governor. -IANS

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