The Supreme Court of India has asked the Speaker of Maharashtra to decide on disqualification petitions within a reasonable time. However, it did not grant relief to Uddhav Thackeray as he resigned without facing a Floor test in the state assembly.
Supreme Court Order
The Supreme Court held that the Maharashtra Speaker’s decision to appoint Gogawale (Shinde group) as chief Whip of the Shiv Sena party as illegal. It further stated that the state assembly Speaker should recognize only the whip appointed by the political party. The court also said that the Governor had no objective material to call for a Floor test in the Assembly, and it cannot be used as a medium to resolve inter or intra-party disputes.
The court said that the Governor erred in relying on the resolution of a faction of MLAs of Shiv Sena to conclude that Uddhav Thackeray had lost the support of the majority of MLAs. According to the Supreme Court bench, “Governor had no objective material to doubt the confidence of the Uddhav Thackeray-led government and call for a Floor test. The resolution relied on by the government did not indicate that MLAs wanted to withdraw support. Even if it is assumed that the MLAs wanted to exit the government, they constituted only a faction.”
Status quo ante
The top court held that status quo ante cannot be ordered by restoring the Maha Vikas Aghadi government as then CM Uddhav Thackeray did not face the floor test and tendered his resignation. Hence, the Governor was justified in administering the oath to Eknath Shinde with the support of the largest party BJP.
Uddhav Thackeray’s counsel stated that the Speaker has to decide on disqualification pleas in a time-bound manner. The Supreme Court verdict neither granted relief to Uddhav Thackeray nor restored the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
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