Supreme Court to hear Shiv Sena's plea challenging Governor's direction to Thackeray govt to face floor test [29.6.22]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear at 5 pm a plea of Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu challenging the Maharashtra Governor's direction to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to take floor test in the Assembly on Thursday.

A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala took note of submissions of senior advocate A M Singhvi that an urgent hearing was needed in view of the decision taken by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asking the MVA government to prove majority at 11 am on Thursday.

"We will keep at 5 pm. Please make sure that paper books are supplied by 3 pm to parties concerned," the bench said.

As the bench commenced proceedings for the day, Singhvi, appearing for Prabhu, sought urgent hearing of his petition for a stay on the "illegal floor test" ordered for tomorrow by the Governor.

Singhvi said the votes of MLAs facing disqualification would be illegally counted if a floor test is held and it cannot include names which are "stigmatised".

"Floor test cannot include names which are stigmatised. I want a hearing late in the evening. Votes which cannot be counted will be counted. The entire exercise will be futile," he said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said he had no objection to the matter being heard at 5 pm and will represent the Governor in the hearing.

Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, appearing for rebel MLAs led by Eknathrao Shinde, objected to the urgent hearing of the matter and requested that the case be taken on Thursday.

The bench then remarked, "Whether we decide in favour or not, they cannot be denied hearing. An urgent hearing ought to be granted."

Koshyari has asked the Maharashtra Legislature Secretary to hold a floor test of the MVA government at 11 am on Thursday.

The Governor's letter comes amid the rebellion in the ruling Shiv Sena by senior minister Eknath Shinde, who has been camping in Guwahati since last week with majority of party legislators and several independent MLAs, which has pushed the government led by Thackeray, who is also the Sena president, into a crisis.

In his letter sent to Maharashtra Legislature's Principal Secretary Rajendra Bhagwat, Koshyari, said, "A special session of the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha (legislative Assembly) shall be summoned on June 30 (Thursday) at 11 am with the only agenda of a trust vote against the chief minister, and the proceedings shall be concluded in any case by 5 pm."

"The proceedings of the House shall be telecast live and appropriate arrangements for the same shall be made," the letter said.


29 Jun 2022