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Maharashtra Case: SC Issues Notices To Centre, Maha Govt, Fadnavis

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 24, Nov 2019, 18:28 pm IST | UPDATED: 28, Nov 2019, 12:25 pm IST

Maharashtra Case: SC Issues Notices To Centre, Maha Govt, Fadnavis Delhi: The Supreme Court on Sunday issued notices to the Centre and Maharashtra government on a petition filed by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Cong combine against the Maharashtra Governor's decision to swear in Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister. A bench of Justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna also issued notices to Fadnavis and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. The bench also asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to produce letters of the Governor tomorrow at 10.30 am for passing orders. The top court said appropriate orders will be passed tomorrow.

The apex court was hearing the joint plea of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP against the decision of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari inviting BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis to form the government. A three-judge bench of Supreme Court headed by Justice N V Ramana and comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna heard the case.

Meanwhile, the petitioners - Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress - requested the Supreme Court to order a floor test to be held on Sunday itself. The three parties combine told the top court that they have the majority in the Maharashtra Assembly and if Devendra Fadnavis has the numbers he should prove majority on floor of the House. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, also appearing for the combine, submitted that 41 MLAs of NCP are with Sharad Pawar. While 54 is the total strength of NCP, 41 MLAs wrote to the Maharashtra Governor saying Ajit Pawar has been removed as its leader, Singhvi told the bench.

Sibal said that November 30 deadline given by the Governor to the ruling party to prove majority is meant to do 'something else'. "It is a complete 'betrayal and annihilation' of democracy where government has been allowed to be formed when 41 NCP MLAs are not with them, " they submitted.

The combine also said that it was 'betrayal and annihilation' of democracy that government has been allowed to be formed when 41 NCP MLAs are not with the BJP.

The top court said none is disputing that floor test is best method to show majority.

Rohatgi said how can a political party approach apex court under Article 32 for violation of Fundamental Rights. Singhvi refers to judgements in various cases including dismissal of Uttarakhand Cong govt, saying that floor test is ultimate test. He also referred to 2018 apex court's order in Karnataka case and said floor test was ordered and there was no secret ballot. "Floor test is Constitutional obligation, no formality is needed and it can be ordered," Singhvi told the bench.

Rohatgi, appearing for THE BJP and independent MLAs, opposed the NCP plea. "They (three parties) were given time but they did not form government, so let Fadnavis prove majority as there was no tearing hurry, Rohatgi told the bench.

At a time when deliberations among Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena on the formation of a non-BJP government in the state had seemingly reached the final stage, the BJP formed the government in a surprise development on Saturday morning when Devendra Fadnavis took oath for the second consecutive term as the state Chief Minister, while Ajit Pawar of NCP as his Deputy Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, the Nationalist Congress Party late on Saturday moved 44 MLAs to Renaissance Hotel here on Saturday. The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44.
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