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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Supreme Court: Maharashtra political crisis case to be sent to larger bench

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The Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench has referred the issue  of political crisis in Maharashtra to a bigger bench of seven judges. The petitions had filed for the Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde factions of the Shiv Sena related to the 2022 Maharashtra political crisis. The Supreme Court has now issued its decision on this.

Speaking on the matter, the SC said that it was an illegal decision by the Speaker of the House to appoint Speaker Gogavale, proposed by the Shinde faction, as Chief Whip. The apex court said the speaker should have recognized just the whip the political party appointed.

What did the Supreme Court say on the Governor?

The apex court also asked about the role of the Governor relate to the entire development. The Supreme Court said the governor had no solid ground to call for a floor test in the assembly. Floor test cannot be used to settle internal disputes of any party.

According to the SC, ‘there wasn’t any communication with the Governor to show that the dissident MLAs wished to withdraw support from the government. While concluding that Uddhav Thackeray no longer had the support of most MLAs, the Governor depended on a proposal by a group of Shiv Sena MLAs.

The SC had, significantly, on February 17 rejected a request to refer the petitions regarding the Maharashtra political crisis to a seven-judge constitution bench.

What exactly is the case?

Headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, a five-judge constitution bench issued the verdict on petitions regarding the political crisis in Maharashtra that resulted in the fall of the then Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government led by Uddhav Thackeray. Justice MR Shah,  Justice Hima Kohli, Justice Krishna Murari, and Justice PS Narasimha are also part of this constitution bench.

The constitution bench  completed the hearing on the related petitio before reserving its verdict on March 16, 2023. The final hearing in the case stated on February 21 and the verdict was reserved after arguments from both sides were heard for nine days.

What did the constitution bench say on the hearing’s  last day?

On the last day of the hearing, the Supreme Court, had wondered how it would be able to restore Uddhav Thackeray’s government when the then chief minister had stepped down before it could face a floor test in the House. During the hearing, the Thackeray faction, asked the court to restore their government, after its 2016 verdict which restored the administration of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki.

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