New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Sunday ordered the Centre to produce Governor’s decision and letter of support submitted by BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis to Governor by 10:30 am on Monday.
The top court heard a plea filed by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine against the Maharashtra Governor's decision to swear in Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who is appearing for Shiv Sena, Congress, started submission in the top court with apology to judges for troubling them on Sunday.
However, Kapil Sibal claimed that nothing is on record and argued that the court to direct the state governor B S Koshyari to have a floor test in the Maharashtra assembly today itself.
Accusing Maharashtra Governor B S Koshyari of bias and Kapil Sibal said the lifting of President’s Rule was “shrouded in mystery”. "The act of governor smacks of bias, malafide, violation of all norms of the apex court," said Sibal.
“Governor advises and President’s Rule is revoked, no cabinet meeting was held. The swearing-in that took place at 8 am on Saturday, on what basis did the Governor decide is shrouded in mystery,” Sibal said.
Sibal also argued that the three party combine in Maharashtra can prove its majority in the Maharashtra assembly tomorrow itself.
"NCP had a majority yesterday, removing Ajit Pawar, signed by 41 MLAs- it is surprising," said Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is representing NCP in the case.
"How can Ajit Pawar have the support of these people, how can he, who has been removed as legislative party leader, become the deputy chief minister [of Maharashtra]," Singhvi argued.
It's illegal if the list of these MLAs was given to the governor, he said.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued saying, "how is it be possible that someone took oath yesterday claiming majority, is today shying away from floor test?"
A special bench of Justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna started the hearing at 11:30 am.
The three parties claimed that they be invited to form government with Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister.
Mukul Rohatgi, who is representing the BJP, argued that parties must be given 2 to 3 days to prove majority in the house.
The BJP also argued that the governor's decision is not subject to judicial scrutiny and that the court can't direct the governor to hold floor test in a day's time.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had confirmed that the petition was filed by three political parties on Saturday evening in the apex court requesting for an immediate floor test in order to "expose the illegitimate and unconstitutional government" headed by Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar.
"We are very confident that the majesty of law and the Constitution will prevail and forces led by the BJP, who have taken a contract for the murder of democracy will get a befitting reply through the majesty of law," he had said.
Senior advocate Devadutt Kamat for Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena had said that in their petition, they have requested the Supreme Court to order a floor test to be held on Sunday itself.
"We have said that without any majority of Fadnavis and the BJP, the Governor called and installed him as the Chief Minister of the state. We have also asked for an urgent direction for a floor test to be held on Sunday itself within 24 hours as was directed by the court in Karnataka case. We are hopeful the Supreme Court will hear us. Our petition has been numbered," he had said.
After a prolonged uncertainty over the government formation that lasted for nearly a month, Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday early morning took oath for the second consecutive term as the state Chief Minister, while Ajit Pawar as his deputy chief minister.
(With inputs from agencies)