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‘Undue Haste’, ‘Heavens Won’t Fall’: What Team Uddhav Told SC on Governor’s No-Trust Vote Call

News18 logo News18 29-06-2022 News Desk
‘Undue Haste’, ‘Heavens Won’t Fall’: What Team Uddhav Told SC on Governor’s No-Trust Vote Call © Provided by News18 ‘Undue Haste’, ‘Heavens Won’t Fall’: What Team Uddhav Told SC on Governor’s No-Trust Vote Call

The Supreme Court, which was on Wednesday hearing the Shiv Sena’s plea challenging the Governor’s decision to prove Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray’s majority in the assembly, was told that there was “undue haste” in calling for the floor test.

Senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Shiv Sena, said, “There is undue haste.”

A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala asked Singhvi how can floor test impacts the disqualification process or interfere with the powers of the speaker to conduct a disqualification proceeding. Our understanding is that floor of the house is the only way to settle these issues of democracy, the bench observed.

Singhvi told the apex court that people who have changed sides do not reflect the will of the people and heavens won’t fall if the floor test is not held tomorrow. He said, “If the floor test is conducted, with the vote of those who should not have voted, then how will your Lordships change the result of the floor test.”

He also argued that the court must not allow a floor test to be held till the deputy speaker decides on the disqualification petition against some rebel MLAs. He told the bench that the order to conduct a floor test at a supersonic speed amounts to putting the cart before the horse. “It’s like EC saying that there are dead people on the electoral roll but you go ahead with the elections,” Singhvi also said.

He said two MLAs of the NCP are down with Covid-19 while two MLAs of the Congress are abroad and they are asked to participate in the floor test on Thursday. Singhvi argued that allowing floor tests would mean making Tenth Schedule a dead letter.

The assembly deputy speaker had served disqualification notices on Eknath Shinde, whose rebellion has brought the Uddhav Thackeray government to collapse, and 15 other rebel MLAs. The move was challenged by the rebel camp in the Supreme Court, which asked the deputy speaker to put the disqualification on hold and asked the rebels to reply to the notices by July 12.

Singhvi also said that the Governor has to act on the aid and advice of the chief minister. “Whether he does it or not, he certainly cannot act on the aid and advice of the Leader of Opposition,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the bench had taken note of submissions of Singhvi that an urgent hearing was needed in view of the decision taken by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asking the MVA government to prove the majority at 11 am on Thursday.

The petition contended that the Governor vide communication dated June 28, 2022 (which was received today i.e., on June 29 at about 9:00 am) has decided to hold a floor test in complete defiance of the fact that this court is seized of the issue of the disqualification proceedings.

“Such undue haste is manifestly arbitrary and therefore violative of Article 14,” said the plea and sought directions seeking setting aside of the impugned communication sent by the Governor to the chief minister as well as to the secretary of the Assembly. Koshyari has asked the Maharashtra Legislature Secretary to hold a floor test of the MVA government at 11 am on Thursday.

(With PTI inputs)

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