The Bombay High Court on Monday refused to entertain a writ petition filed by a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party seeking a writ of certiorari to be passed quashing the April 9 decision of the state council of ministers to recommend Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's name for nomination as Member of Legislative of Council to the Governor.
Justice SJ Kathawalla observed-
"Court's interference at this stage is not at all required since any such interference at this stage would amount to preventing the Governor from taking any independent decision. The reliefs sought in the Writ petition therefore appear to be premature.The Petitioner at this stage is not entitled to any urgent reliefs."
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took oath on November 28, 2019 and at the time he was not the Member of either the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council. As per Article 164(4) of the Constitution- A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.
Thus, CM Thackeray has to become a member of either houses on or before May 28 and failure would entail either removal or resignation.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar chaired a meeting of the council of ministers on April 9 and a decision was taken to recommend the name of CM Uddhav Thackeray to the Governor for nomination as a member of the legislative council. The meeting was convened after it was concluded that elections for members of the legislative council will not be taking place in view of the pandemic as well as the nationwide lockdown.
According to the petitioner RG Pillai, who is a member of the Working Committee of BJP in the State, this meeting was "unprecedented and in brazen defiance of the constitution and Maharashtra Government Business Rules".
The petition argues that Dy CM Ajit Pawar did not have any authority to convene such a meeting to begin with as the post of Deputy CM is only descriptive in nature.
The petition states-
"The entire nation is grappling with the pandemic of Covid-19 and the State of Maharashtra is the worst hit. The number of persons who have been found positive with the pandemic is highest in the country and Respondent No.1 (Chief Secretary), 2 (Uddhav Thackeray) & 4 (Ajit Pawar) are hand in glove to get Respondent No.2 nominated to the house at all costs."
Court refused to grant any interim relief prayed for by the petitioner.