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Exclusive: 10 Major Grounds Raised By Congress In It’s Plea Against Goa Governor’s Decision

LiveLaw News Network
13 March 2017 5:50 PM GMT
Exclusive: 10 Major Grounds Raised By Congress In It’s Plea Against Goa Governor’s Decision
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In a major development Goa Congress leader Chandrakant Kavlekar has approached the Supreme Court of India against Goa Governor Mridula Sinha’s decision to invite the BJP leader Manohar Parikkar to form the next government. The matter is posted to hear at 10.30AM tomorrow before the Chief Justice’s Court. Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi will lead the arguments for the petitioner.

The petition alleges that Governor of Goa, instead of inviting the petitioner, who is the leader of the single largest party in the Goa Legislative Assembly, and giving him an opportunity to prove his requisite support to form the government, chose to arbitrarily call upon Shri Manohar Parikar, to appoint the latter as the Chief Minister of Goa. The the decision of Goa Governor is unreasonable, arbitrary, illegal and partisan.

Here are the major grounds raised in the petition;

  1. The Governor, in blatant violation of the well established constitutional conventions of inviting the single largest party to form the Government, has instead invited the BJP to form the Government and has scheduled to administer the oath of office to the unelected Chief Minister and his cabinet on the14.03.2017.

  2. There was no pre-poll alliance of any party prior to the elections. Despite the same, the Governor in a complete departure from the Sarkaria Commission as well as M.M. Punchhi commission recommendations, requiring her to invite the single largest party (in this case the Indian National Congress) to form the government, has acted with utmost haste.

  3. The BJP, which is only having 13 MLAs in the Legislative Assembly, in order to get over the mandate of the people which has thrown it out of power, has, using its political clout at the Centre, sought to claim that it has the requisite majority with the purported help of certain smaller parties

  4. The facts of the isin pari materiato the facts of the case in Anil Kumar Jha v. Union of India, (2005) 3 SCC 150 and as such deserve to be interfered with by the Supreme Court.

  5. The entire object of this hasty late night political maneuvering by the powers that be is to defeat the mandate of the people and to somehow grab power by misusing the office of the Governor. It is submitted that the impugned decision of the Governor to appoint Shri Parrikar as the Chief Minister and inviting the BJP to form the government is completely unconstitutional and against the settled constitutional conventions in this regard in India. Law has been well settled by Supreme Court that Constitutional Convention is as binding as Constitutional Law. [Via Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association v. Union of India, (2016) 5 SCC 1 (para 767 and 768); Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association v. Union of India, (1993) 4 SCC 441].

  6. Governor blatantly overlooked the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission Report as well as the M.M. Punchi Commission Report on Centre-State relations, wherein detailed procedure has been laid down for the appointment of Chief Minister in case no party garners the requisite majority to form a government on their own.

  7. The recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission have been reiterated in the Punchhi Commission Report, which has also been approved and endorsed by this Hon’ble Court in Nabam Rebia and Bamang Felix v. Deputy Speaker, Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly &Ors., (2016) 8 SCC 1,

  8. Respondents, by the impugned decision, have virtually sought to strangulate the will of the people and have used the office of the Governor to suit their political needs.

  9. The decision of the Governor is completely tainted with arbitrariness, malafide, partisanship and has been taken in an extremely hasty manner on the night of 12.03.2017 to pre-empt any staking of claim by a single largest party. As such it is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

  10. The discretionary powers exercised by the Governor are not beyond the pale of judicial review and any illegal and arbitrary decision taken against the constitutional provisions and conventions is liable to be interfered with and struck down by Court in exercise of its jurisdiction as a sentinel on the qui vive of the Constitution. The discretionary powers under the Constitution conferred on the Governor are not theipsidixitof the Governor but have to be exercised within the constitutional norms and conventions guiding the exercise of such discretion.

The Petition was drawn by Advocates Devadatt Kamat and Javedur Rahman and filed by Advocate Gautam Talukdar.

Read the petition here.

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