Shiv Sena moves Supreme Court against Maharashtra Governor’s decision

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addresses the media in Mumbai on November 8, 2019.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addresses the media in Mumbai on November 8, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate


Bhagat Singh Koshyari has denied Sena's request for three days' time to prove its majority in Assembly to form government.

The Shiv Sena on Tuesday moved a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's decision on November 11 to deny its request for three days' time to prove the majority in the Assembly to form a government.

Sena lawyers said the court Registry informed them that it was not possible to constitute a Bench on November 12 itself. They were asked to mention the petition on November 13 for urgent listing. A second petition challenging the proclamation of President's rule is being readied and a decision on its filing in the court would be taken soon.

The petition alleged that the Governor acted in “hot haste” and gave the Sena, which won 56 seats in the 14th Legislative Assembly elections in October, just 24 hours to prove its majority. On the other hand, he gave the BJP, which secured 105 seats in the polls, a whole two days to garner support.

Government in a democracy was not a “race”. The Governor had recommended President's rule under Article 356 (1) in the State and the Union Cabinet met on the issue on November 12. This was when both the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), with 54 seats, and the Indian National Congress, with 44 seats, were “principally” willing to support the Sena and advanced talks were on with both parties, the petition noted.

The Sena, represented by senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate Sunil Fernandes, said “government formation is a sacrosanct political process in a democracy and the Governor cannot act as a stumbling block for thwarting/stalling a political party from forming a government”.

The Sena argued that the Governor was “duty-bound” to offer reasonable time for political parties to conclude their negotiation on government formation and “not act as an agent/mouthpiece of the Central government and /or the ruling party at the Centre”. He should allow reasonable time to political outfits to present the conclusion of their negotiations before taking a decision to reject any claim to form a government.

The petition portrayed the present scenario as a “classic case” of the Governor acting in violation of the fundamental rights under Article 14 (right to equality and non-discrimination) and Article 21 (right to dignified life). It said the party, having the support of at least 144 elected members, would hold majority to form a government. (The BJP was short by 40 seats).

The Governor, for almost 18 days, did not take any action in inviting any political party to form a government, the petition said.


On November 9, the Governor invited the BJP to form a government, but it declined, expressing its inability on November 10.

Mr. Koshiyari then asked the Sena, on the very same day, to convey its willingness.

The Sena said it’s leader Sanjay Raut had met NCP leaders and “talks have been in a positive direction”. Arvind Sawant, the sole Union Minister from the Sena in the NDA government, has resigned from the Cabinet. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has had a positive telephonic conversation with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

The Sena has acquired the support of eight independent MLAs, namely, Narendra Bondekar, Manjula Gavith, Shankar Rao Gadak, Chandrakanth Patil, Ashish Jaiswal, Bachhukadu, Rajkumar Patel and Rajendra Patel Vadraokar.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 7:29:13 PM |

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