New Delhi, November 26, 2019: The Supreme Court today gave a major verdict on a petition against the appointment of Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister of Maharashtra and also to order him to prove his majority in the House (Legislative Assembly) within 24 hours. The Supreme Court ordered that a floor test be conducted in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly before 5 pm on 27 November.
Justice NV Ramana, while giving judgment on the petition of Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP against the formation of BJP-led government in the state, said, ‘A floor test should be conducted before 5 pm on November 27’.
The apex court also ordered a live telecast of the floor test. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ramana passed the order on a joint petition by the three parties challenging Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s decision to swear in Fadnavis as Chief Minister and NCP’s Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister.
It was said that the oath was administered at a time when the discussions between the three parties (Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP) regarding the formation of the government had reached the final stage. The petition filed by the three parties sought directions to conduct a majority test immediately.
The floor test is a constitutional mechanism under which a chief minister can be asked to prove majority in the state assembly.
Supreme Court Decision Highlights
Floor test should be conducted by 5 pm tomorrow (27 November).
It should be live.
The Supreme Court has ordered the Governor to appoint a Protem Speaker immediately for conducting the test.
There should be no secret vote.
Maharashtra government should not take any decision before the floor test
Immediately after the order of the Supreme Court, Kapil Sibal told the court that until the floor test is held, the Fadnavis government should ban the policy decision. The court did not pass any order on it.
In the Supreme Court on Monday, both the letters claiming to form the government on behalf of Devendra Fadnavis and the invitation of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to form the government were presented in the court. After seeing the letter and hearing the arguments of both sides, the court had reserved the decision till 10:30 am on Tuesday.
After the Supreme Court verdict, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar tweeted, “I am grateful to Hon’ble SC for upholding democratic values and constitutional principles. It’s heartening that the Maharashtra Verdict came on the #ConstitutionDay, a Tribute to Bharat Ratna Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar!”