The combine today told the bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna that an immediate floor test is needed to prevent "horse trading" of MLAs, while the lawyers representing Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar argued not to interfere in the governor's discretion to give 14 days for a floor test.
"Now the question is whether the chief minister has a majority. The only issue is should he face a floor test," Justice Khanna said shortly before reserving the order for the following day.
In the morning, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing on behalf of secretary to the governor produced the letters given by Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar to the governor staking claim.
The letter given by Ajit Pawar had the signature of 54 NCP MLAs, but senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for the Sharad Pawar-led party intervened to say there was no covering letter and that the signatures were obtained for a different purpose.
Mehta explained that the governor had went by the book to invite Fadnavis and that there was no way he could have gone on a "roving and fishing inquiry" to find out about the claims.
Appearing for the BJP side, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi argued against the court interfering in House procedure and advancing a date given by the governor for a floor test.
"The governor has given me 14 days to prove majority. Now, you can't advance it," he said.
Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Ajit Pawar, said the whole issue was only about a feud in the family and that Sharad Pawar could be convinced to come around
On being asked by the bench who represented the party, Singh said "I am the NCP" sparking some mirth in the court room.
Kapil Sibal who appeared for the Shiv Sena questioned what was the "national emergency" that prompted Governor Koshyari to revoke president's rule at midnight without the ratification of the cabinet and invite Fadnavis.
"If the BJP has numbers, then they should prove a majority within 24 hours," Sibal said.
The Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP's petition against the governor's decision to swear in Fadnavis was filed on Saturday night and the court had kept the hearing for today after asking for the letters received and sent by the governor.
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12 Comments on this Story
sonykuty Sundaramoorthy465 days ago
The entire midnight action of launching the Fadnavis Government was perhaps timed to be attendant with the auspicious timing of what is called the “Brahma Muhurth” which starts just about 3-30 am and moves into the dawn. Incidentally, this is also generally the time of hanging of death convicts. If the floor test is held and if the Fadnavis Government loses the confidence vote, the timing of the launch may be a case of “man proposes and God disposes”.
Kumar Swapan465 days ago
Hope BJP will prove it''s worth.Economic capital of India will not be in ISI''s bag.
Arun 465 days ago
For 20 days NCp_CONgress-sena were only discussing. If they were all on the same page as they are claiming now, why did they not go to the governor and ask for government formation ?
The SC should also ask them the question as to what they were doing for the last 25 days if they had the numbers. They should not get away Scot free for wasting the SC''s time and betraying the mandate.