oppn parties Governor's Role In Maharashtra Under Supreme Court Scanner

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Governor's Role In Maharashtra Under Supreme Court Scanner

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2023-03-17 06:16:38

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

Hearing the Shiv Sena case, the Supreme Court has made several pertinent observations which once again bring the role of the governor under the scanner. However, the constitutional bench is seized of the matter and will decide whether the action of the then Maharshtra governor B S Koshiyari in asking the then state chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to go for a floor test in the assembly to prove majority upon the split in the party was constitutionally valid or not.

But the main relief being sought by Uddhav Thackeray - that of restoration of his government - seems to be beyond the apex court's jurisdiction as the bench said that although the floor test was ordered by the governor no such test took place as Thackeray, fearing the fall of his government in the assembly as the numbers were not with him, resigned before that. The bench said that if it restored the MVA government if it found the governor's action of ordering the floor test unconstitutional, it would create a "constitutional conundrum" as no floor test had taken place.

The Supreme Court has made adverse remarks on the governor's action and might find it constitutionally invalid. But, apart from setting a precedent for the future, it will have little bearing on the government in Maharashtra. But it will also be interesting to find out what action the apex court would have taken if it found the governor's action unconstitutional and the Thackeray government had fallen as a result of that illegally ordered floor test. Would it have restored the Thackeray government as the floor test was illegal or would it have done nothing as despite the illegality of the test, the government would have fallen as it did not have the numbers?

But the main question before the court is the role of the governor. Of late, governors in opposition ruled states are increasingly playing a political role despite the constitution mandating that they go by the advice of the elected government of the state.Governors are known to sit on files and create other hurdles in the effective governance of the state. In times of political upheavals such as the one in Maharashtra, they are known to take sides. The constitutional bench must examine the issue in its entirety and issue guidelines as per what the constitution mandates so that such situations do not arise in future.