The Leaflet

| @theleaflet_in | November 24,2019

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Supreme Court will hear on November 24, 2019 at 11:30 am a petition jointly filed by Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Indian National Congress (INC) seeking to quash the decision dated November 23, 2019 of the Governor of Maharashtra inviting Devendra Fadnavis to form the Government in the state.

The petitioners have also sought a direction from the top court to invite the Shiv Sena, INC and NCP (together specified as “maha vikas aghadi”), as they are the majority to form a coalition government in the 14th legislative assembly election in the state of Maharashtra.

Petitioners have alleged that facing the prospect of a non BJP Government staking claim to power, the BJP in the intervening night of November 22 & 23 had resorted to political machinations in an attempt to install a completely unconstitutional BJP Government in the State.

“There is nothing in public domain as to how and in what manner Shri Devendra Fadnavis and/or the BJP had staked claim power between the intervening night of November 22 & 23”,  the petitioners say.

There is no material, according to the petitioners, in the public domain to show that Devendra Fadnavis had carried letters of support of 144 MLA’s (which in any event was not legally possible to do). The Petitioners categorically assert that all the MLA’s of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are completely and solidly with the alliance except for Shri Ajit Pawar.

Petitones have told the apex court that the Governor acted in a partisan manner and made a mockery of the high office of the Governor. According to them, Governor’s actions between the intervening night of November 22 & 23 culminating to the swearing in on the November 22 are a text book example of the Governor acting at the behest of a political party in power at the Centre.

In the early hours of November 23 at around 5:47 am, the Presidential Proclamation issued on November 12, imposing President’s Rule was revoked by the President. Thereafter, according to the petitioners, at about 8:00 am, the Raj Bhavan in a make shift and a hurriedly convened swearing in ceremony administered oath to Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP as Chief Minister of the State and further to Shri Ajit Pawar of the NCP as Deputy Chief Minister.

The Governor was duty bound to study the claim if any made by Shri Devendra Fadnavis, moreso when admittedly the previous night all the three political parties commanding a strength of 154 MLA’s had categorically stated that they will be staking claim to form the Government”, the petitioners assert.

Petition has been filed through Advocate-on-Record Sunil Fernandes.

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