Maharashtra Crisis: SC Rejects Team Uddhav's Plea To Defer Floor Test, Rebel MLAs Move Closer To Mumbai

 

The ruling came after CM Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena camp moved the apex court challenging Governor Koshyari's direction to conduct a floor test on Thursday.

Hours after Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asked the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to take a floor test on Thursday, the Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected Shiv Sena's plea to stay the floor test scheduled to take place tomorrow, Live Law reported. While announcing the judgement, the bench headed by Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala mentioned that the floor test, however, will be subject to the final outcome of the writ petition filed by Shiv Sena Chief Whip Sunil Prabhu.

The top court has also issued notice on Prabhu's petition and directed respondents to file their response. The court will hear his plea on July 11.

Additionally, the top court has also allowed jailed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh to participate in the proceedings of the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly tomorrow. Both the leaders are currently in judicial custody of the Enforcement Directorate and CBI.

The Central probe agencies have been directed to escort Malik and Deshmukh to the Assembly to participate in the floor test and bring them back to the judicial custody.

During the hearing, Shiv Sena's counsel Abhishek Manu Shingvi told the top court that that letter which tells us about the Floor Test says that on June 18 Opposition leader met Governor and today morning we received intimation about Floor Test on Thursday. He also pointed out that currently two NCP members are down with Covid and one Congress MLA is out of the country.

Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu challenged in the Supreme Court the Governor’s direction, saying the order to conduct a floor test in a “supersonic speed” amounts to putting the cart before the horse.

"There is supersonic speed for the Floor Test. The Floor Test determines which government represents the will of the people. A Floor Test is supposed to find out the true majority. True majority will include those eligible to be included," Singhvi told SC.

The ruling came after CM Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena camp moved the apex court challenging Koshyari's direction. 

In his letter, Koshyari said, "A special session of the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly) shall be summoned on June 30 (Thursday) at 11 am with the only agenda of a trust vote against the chief minister, and the proceedings shall be concluded in any case by 5 pm." "The proceedings of the House shall be telecast live and appropriate arrangements for the same shall be made," he said.

In the letter, the governor cited an e-mail sent by seven independent MLAs on Tuesday, in which they said that the Maharashtra chief minister has lost the confidence of the majority on the floor of the House, thereby making it imperative to conduct a floor test at the earliest.

SC ruling comes week after the Shiv Sena lawmakers led by Eknath Shinde raised the banner of revolt against the party. On Tuesday, a group of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, met Koshyari at the Raj Bhavan and urged him to direct the government to prove its majority in the wake of the Sena MLAs' rebellion.

Meanwhile, Shinde said he will reach Mumbai on Thursday for the floor test against the beleaguered Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra.

Shinde claims support of over 50 MLAs who are now reaching Goa from Guwahati. 

"We will reach Mumbai tomorrow. 50 MLAs are with us. We've over 2/3rd of the majority. We are not worried about the floor test. We will pass all the floor test procedures. No one can stop us. The majority matters in democracy and we're having that majority. No one in this country can disobey the constitution and laws. So, our victory is certain," Shinde told reporters earlier in the day.

"We've over 2/3rd of the majority. We are not worried about the floor test. We will pass the floor test. No one can stop us," he said.

As many as 71 rooms at the Taj Hotel have been booked for MLAS of Shinde camp, in preparation for their arrival, sources told news agency IANS.

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