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[Breaking] SC Issues Notice On BJP Leaders' Plea For Floor Test In Madhya Pradesh Assembly; Posts Tomorrow

17 March 2020 6:01 AM GMT
[Breaking] SC Issues Notice On BJP Leaders Plea For Floor Test In Madhya Pradesh Assembly; Posts Tomorrow
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice on the writ petition filed by Bhartiya Janatha Party leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan and nine other BJP MLAs seeking immediate floor test for proving the majority of Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh assembly.

The matter is posted tomorrow at 10.30 AM.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi , appearing for the petitioners before the bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta, submitted that it was a travesty of justice that the opposite side did not enter appearance in the matter.

Justice Chandrachud observed that the appropriate thing to do was to issue notice and consider the matter tomorrow. Notices have been issued to Speaker, Legislative Assembly, MP,  Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Principal Secretary to the Government of Madhya Pradesh. Liberty has been granted to serve notice via electronic modes such as e-mail, whatsapp etc.

The petition led by Couhan,  the three-time former Chief Minister of MP,  was mentioned before the Mentioning Officer on Monday, upon which it was agreed to be listed today.

The plea was moved in the wake of recent migration of former Congress MLA Jyotiraditya Scindia to BJP last week.

On Monday, the Madhya Pradesh Speaker adjourned the assembly meeting till March 26 citing Corona scare, without holding floor test.

In the house having 230 seats, the Congress has 114 seats and BJP has 107 seats. Government was formed by Congress after the elections in December 2018 with the support of 7 other MLAs. The petitioners claim that 22 Congress MLAs have tendered their resignations to the Speaker on March 10, "on account of dissatisfaction with the Hon'ble Chief Minister for non-fulfilment of promises made prior to elections".

It is also stated that BJP submitted a letter to the Governor on March 14 seeking urgent floor on the ground that the government has been reduced to a minority. Though the Governor had agreed to order floor test on March 16, the business of the house was adjourned on Monday till March 26, without holding the same..

"It is submitted that on account of lack of confidence and resignation of 22 MLAs of Congress party, out of which the resignation of 6 MLAs having been already accepted by Hon'ble Speaker, the government led by Hon'ble Chief Minister has been reduced to minority. It has no moral, legal, democratic or constitutional right to remain in power even for a single day. All possible attempts are being made by the Hon'ble Chief Minister to convert his minority government into majority by giving all possible threats, allurements to the members of the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha. The horse-trading is at its peak", the plea stated.

Referring to various precedents, including the recent orders of the Supreme Court in the cases concerning assemblies of Karnataka and Maharashtra, the petition seeks directions for holding floor test immediately.

Citing the decision of 9 judge constitution bench in S.R. Bommai v. Union of India, (1994) 3 SCC 1,it is argued that if the support to a government is withdrawn by some legislators and the government appears to have lost the confidence of the house, it is the duty of the Governor to direct the government to prove the majority by floor test.

It is pleaded that "any deferment of the floor test will further encourage horse trading and would be in utter violation of the directions issued by the Hon'ble Governor; law laid down by the Supreme Court and the spirit and basic structure of the constitution of India".

The petitioners asserted that the refusal of the Chief Minister to conduct floor test is clear manifestation of the loss of majority in the house. 

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