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Shiv Sena Challenges Maharashtra Governor's Floor Test Direction Before SC, Says 'Such Undue Haste Is Manifestly Arbitrary'

Shiv Sena's petition before Supreme Court(SC) has contended that the Governor vide communication dated June 28, 2022 (which was received today i.e., on June 29 at about 9:00 am) has decided to hold a floor test in complete defiance of the fact that this court is seized of the issue of the disqualification proceedings.

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Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray.(File photo) PTI

Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu Wednesday challenged in the Supreme Court the Maharashtra Governor’s direction to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to take a floor test in the Assembly on Thursday, saying the order to conduct a floor test in a “supersonic speed” amounts to putting the cart before the horse.

Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Prabhu, told a vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala that two MLAs of the NCP are down with COVID-19 while two MLAs of the Congress are abroad and they are asked to participate in the floor test on Thursday.

Singhvi argued that allowing floor tests would mean making Tenth Schedule a “dead letter”.

The bench observed that the Tenth schedule is one of the robust provisions and the court should strengthen it.

The hearing in the matter is underway.

Earlier in the day, the bench had taken note of submissions of Singhvi that an urgent hearing was needed in view of the decision taken by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asking the MVA government to prove the majority at 11 am on Thursday.

The bench had agreed to hear the matter at 5 PM today.

The petition has contended that the Governor vide communication dated June 28, 2022 (which was received today i.e., on June 29 at about 9:00 am) has decided to hold a floor test in complete defiance of the fact that this court is seized of the issue of the disqualification proceedings.  

"Such undue haste is manifestly arbitrary and therefore violative of Article 14," said the plea and sought directions seeking setting aside of the impugned communication sent by the Governor to the Chief Minister as well as to the secretary of the Assembly.

Koshyari has asked the Maharashtra Legislature Secretary to hold a floor test of the MVA government at 11 am on Thursday.

The Governor's letter comes amid the rebellion in the ruling Shiv Sena by senior minister Eknath Shinde, who has been camping in Guwahati since last week with the majority of party legislators and several independent MLAs, which has pushed the government led by Thackeray, who is also the Sena president, into a crisis.

(With PTI inputs)

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