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Maharashtra Crisis: SC refused to Stay Floor Test Slated for Tomorrow

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SUPREME COURT LAW INSIDER

Debangana Ray

Published on June 30, 2022 at 19:04 IST

The Supreme Court refused to stay the floor test in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly as per the direction of state governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

The order was passed by the Bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala on a plea filed by Shiv Sena Leader Sunil Prabhu challenging the governor’s direction and arbitrary.

The court stated that the results of the floor test will be subject to the final outcome of the petition before the court.

The court directed that “We are not staying the floor test We are issuing notice. You can file counter We will hear on merits along with other cases on July 11. The result of tomorrow will depend on final outcome of this petition.” 

Maharashtra has been entangled in political crisis after cabinet minister Eknath Shinde and a rebel group of MLAs left the State for Guwahati where they are camping at a hotel.

The Shinde group has expressed disappointment with the alliance between Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party.

The Deputy Speaker of the assemby had served a notice for disqualification of 12 of the rebel MLAs.

However, the group of rebel MLAs approached the Supreme Court challenging the disqualification notices as well as the appointment of Ajay Choudhari as Shiv Sena Legislature party leader.

The apex court granted interim relief to Shinde and the rebel MLAs by extending the time to file a response to the disqualification notice sent by the Deputy Speaker. The governor also called for the floor test which prompted the Shiv Sena to approach the Supreme court.

The plea filed through Advocate Javedur Rahman said, “The Hon’ble Governor vide communication dated 28.06.2022 (which was received today i.e., on June 29, 2022 at about 9:00 am) has in complete defiance to the fact that this Hon’ble Court is seized of the issue of the disqualification proceedings, has in a desperate attempt to allow the members, who have incurred disqualification, a safe passage decided to hold a floor test on June 30, 2022.”

Pertinently, the plea said the principle laid down by the top court in the case of Nabam Rebia, requiring the deferment of disqualification proceedings till the adjudication of the no-confidence motion moved against the speaker, cannot be extended to a situation where even a floor test that has the potential to bring down a government is allowed to be conducted.

This would mean that delinquent MLAs who have erstwhile incurred disqualification on account of unprincipled defection are allowed to perpetuate their constitutional sin further and achieve their oblique motive in bringing down a government, the plea stated.