Shiv Sena moves SC over Maha Guv's decision not to give time for forming govt

DN Bureau

Shiv Sena on Tuesday filed a plea in the Supreme Court against Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's decision not to extend the time given to it to prove its ability to form the government in the state.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray (File Photo)
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray (File Photo)

Mumbai: Amid an ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena on Tuesday filed a plea in the Supreme Court against Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's decision not to extend the time given to it to prove its ability to form the government in the state.

Shiv Sena-led by Uddhav Thackeray has emerged as the second-largest party in last month's Maharashtra assembly elections, after the BJP.

Also Read: Governor recommends President's rule in Maharashtra

The writ petition, filed through advocates Sunil Fernandez and Nizam Pasha, termed Koshyari's decision as "arbitrary and malafide". The plea was filed by Shiv Sena MLC Anil Dattatray Parab for the party.

"Shiv Sena decided to approach the apex court challenging the Maharashtra Governor's decision to reject its plea seeking three days of time to get letters of support from the NCP and Congress," Pasha told. 

The petition said that the Governor worked in "hot haste" on Monday in refusing to "grant even three days time to the petitioner to demonstrate that it has the requisite majority to form the government in Maharashtra".

"The impugned actions/decisions of the Governor is violative of Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution. It is ex-facie arbitrary, unreasonable, capricious and a malafide exercise of the power in order to ensure that the petitioner is precluded from getting a fair and reasonable opportunity of proving its majority on the floor of the House," it read.

The Shiv Sena sought an urgent hearing into the matter today itself. The party, in its petition, said that the BJP used "the Governor's office in an attempt to prevent it from forming the government".

The plea sought the court's direction to the Governor for granting "reasonable time" to it to prima facie demonstrate that it has the requisite support to form the government.

"It is submitted that the factum of the majority cannot be decided by the Governor in his own ipse dixit and the floor of the House is the only 'constitutionally ordained forum' to the test majority. Besides, it is submitted that the government formation is a sacrosanct political process in democracy and Governor cannot act as a stumbling block for thwarting or stalling a political party from forming the government," it added.

Also Read: Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant resigns from Union Cabinet citing moral grounds

Shiv Sena, through its plea, said that as per the constitutional conventions and practice, the Governor is duty-bound to allow a reasonable time for political parties to conclude their negotiation on government formation and not act as an agent or mouthpiece of the central government.

"It is submitted that the instant is a classic case where these constitutional conventions which have the force of law have been followed by the Governor in sheer breach," it said.

The petition further said that the Shiv Sena had a pre-poll alliance with the BJP. However, the two parties had "serious political differences" and the Shiv Sena declined to join hands with BJP and form the government in Maharashtra.

The plea alleged that being "faced with the prospect of losing the state, the BJP resorted to using all tactics including the Governor's office in an attempt to prevent Shiv Sena from forming the government in the state".

"Actions of the Governor in giving hardly 24 hours to the petitioner to show the letters of support and the action of the Governor on November 11 declining to grant even a reasonable time of three days to the petitioner is ex-facie arbitrary and in breach of the constitutional convention to give the political parties the necessary 'elbow room' to conclude negotiation on government formation," the plea said.

Shiv Sena said it has been in advanced talks for government formation with the NCP and Congress. "The petitioners are given to understand that NCP and Congress are principally willingly to support the petitioners in forming the government in Maharashtra," the plea further said.

The development comes after Koshyari had recommended imposition of President's Rule in the state following political stalemate over government formation.

"Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari having been satisfied that as Government of Maharashtra cannot be carried on in accordance with the Constitution, has today submitted a report as contemplated by the provisions of Article 356 of Constitution (President's Rule)," a Raj Bhavan statement said.

The recommendation for President's Rule came even as the Governor had on Monday given time to NCP till 8.30 pm on Tuesday to indicate a willingness and ability to form the government.

Also Read: Odd situation in Maharashtra but govt formation of utmost importance- Scindia

The Governor had earlier given the same opportunity to Shiv Sena, which finished second in the assembly polls but did not agree to its appeal to give additional time to produce letters of support.

BJP, which emerged as the single-largest party in Maharashtra assembly polls with 105 seats, declined to form the government following differences with Shiv Sena on sharing power. The majority mark in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly is 145. The NCP has 54 MLAs in the state assembly while the Congress has 44. (ANI)

Related Stories