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Maharashtra floor test should be held by 05 pm Wednesday: SC

The Supreme Court also said the entire proceeding should be live tele-cast

Tuesday November 26, 2019 11:23 AM, ummid.com News Network

Maharashtra Floor Test Breaking News

[Sharad Pawar, NCP Chief and senior Maratha leader, addressing the 162 MLAs of Shiv Sena, Congress, NCP and of other smaller parties Monday at Grand Hyatt hotel Mumbai. (Photo tweeted by @PawarSpeaks)]

New Delhi/Mumbai: The Supreme Court of India Tuesday ruled that the floor test in Maharashtra assembly should be held by 05:00 pm Wednesday.

The Supreme Court also said the entire proceeding should be live tele-cast. "New MLAs will be sworn in by 5:00 pm and the floor test will take place after that", said a three-judge bench.

"The pro-tem speaker should counduct the oath taking and floor test, not by a regular speaker", the Supreme Court said.

The Pro-Tem Speaker is usually the senior-most elected legislator - to be appointed and sworn-in by Governor B.S. Koshyari.

"During the floor test there will be no secret ballot. The floor test will be court monitored and entire process should be videographed", the court said.

The court said it is necessary to pass an interim order for the floor test to determine majority in Maharashtra, which is essential to uphold democratic values and the citizens' right to good governance.

The court observed that there is a need to respect the separation of jurisdictions of the legislature and courts and the latter's intervention should only be as the last resort. Justice Ramana said, "This is one such case."

The court also observed MLAs have not been administered oath, though a month has passed since declaration of election results in Maharashtra. It said that an interim order for conducting floor test is essential to avoid horse-trading and corrupt methods deployed to gain majority.

"Fadnavis should resign"

Reacting on the SC verdict, Former Chief Minister Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan said the verdict came on the Constitution Day and it makes it more important.

"The SC verdict is praise worthy. Devendra Fadnavis should resign", he said.

Dada Bhuse, Malegaon MLA, also hailed the SC verdict and said, "The SC verdict is a gift to the nation because it is delivered on the Constitution Day."

On the basis of seniority, three names are taking rounds for Pro-tem speaker are Bala Saheb Thorat of Congress,
Kalidas Kolambkar and Babanrao Pachpute - both are from the BJP.

"Unprecedented Hearing"

Earlier, in an unprecedented hearing on Sunday on the brewing political drama in Maharashtra, the Supreme Court had asked the Solicitor General to produce letters of support, used by Fadnavis in staking claim to form the government, on Monday morning at 10.30 a.m. for passing orders.

The court had said it will decide on taking the call, prayers in the petition of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP, on immediate floor test after examining the Governor's order inviting Fadnavis to form the government in the state.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing a few BJP MLAs and two independent MLAs, had submitted before the bench that the petitioners were "sleeping for 19 days", and now they have moved the apex court seeking a floor test to be conducted today itself.

"I will bring out all the facts, for this, I need two or three days," Rohtagi had said.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Congress and NCP, had said either the court should order a composite floor test or the BJP should be asked to prove their majority, and that this process be done by Sunday or Monday.

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