Saturday, September 23, 2023

Was it correct for Maharashtra Governor to call for Floor Test based on rebellion of Shinde faction? Supreme Court to decide

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A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court that was hearing the Shiv Sena case, on Wednesday raised an important question on the decision that was taken by the Governor of Maharashtra to call for a Floor Test based on the rebellion of the Eknath Shinde-led faction.

The Bench that consisted of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice MR Shah, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice PS Narasimha, were hearing the arguments raised by the Governor of Maharashtra through Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The most important point was the material provided by the Governor, which included the resolution moved by 34 MLAs from the Shinde group reaffirming the leadership of Eknath Shinde.

It also contended that taking in view the letter signed by 47 MLAs about violent threats issued by the Uddhav faction against them and the letter by the leader of opposition, the Governor was duty bound to call for a floor test. This was also put on record.

CJI DY Chandrachud asked if the Governor could call for a trust vote merely on the basis of the internal rebellion in a party.

The CJI said that the governor must equally be conscious of the fact that his calling for a trust vote may itself be a circumstance which may lead to toppling of a government?

The CJI questioned If there is a dissent within the party, the dissidents can seek to overthrow the leader through internal mechanism; but can they seek to change the government.

The CJI observed that people have started ditching a government. The governors are willing allies saying- hold trust votes. So you give sanctity to this.

CJI added that this is a very sad spectacle in our democracy. This is irrespective of the morality of Shiv Sena having joined hands with INC and NCP.

The CJI also added Governor should not enter into any area which precipitates the fall of a government.

SG Mehta citing a judgement said that leader of a party was not an individual, but he represented a particular ideology. So, when a party breaks from its pre-poll alliance and forms a government by joining hands with its ideological rivals, there are possibilities of discontent within the party.

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