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