Supreme Court dismisses plea against Sena-NCP-Congress alliance in Maharashtra

A view of the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File

A view of the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

It is for the public to decide and not for the courts, says the top court Bench

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a petition filed by Pramod Pandit Joshi of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha to declare the post-poll alliance of Shiv Sena, the National Congress Party and the Indian National Congress “unconstitutional, null and void”.

“In a democracy, we cannot stop a political party from allying with another political party,” Justice N.V. Ramana addressed Mr. Joshi’s counsel advocate Barun Kumar Sinha.

Justice Ashok Bhushan asked Mr. Sinha why the Supreme Court should intervene in matters which were quintessentially political in nature.

“Post-poll and pre-poll alliances... this is all political. Why should the Supreme Court enter into all these issues?” Justice Bhushan said.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna, the third judge on the Bench, pointed out that Schedule 10 (anti-defection law) extensively covered these aspects.

This same Bench’s order on November 26, giving BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis 24 hours to prove his majority on the floor of the House, led to his resignation within hours on November 26 and culminated in the formation of a new Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government with Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister.

Mr. Joshi’s lawyer argued the pre-poll manifesto promises were made with BJP-Shiv Sena govt in mind, people had voted on the basis of this manifesto.

“Political parties say a lot of things in their manifesto. After elections, can we issue a mandamus, directing them to implement their manifesto?” Justice Ramana said.

Justice Bhushan said the Constitution Bench in the Rameshwar Prasad case reported in 2006 had already laid down the law on political alliances and government formation. The judgment had clarified that whether pre or post poll alliances, the Governor was obliged to invite the party or alliance commanding the majority in the House.

The Bench said Mr. Joshi should not ask the court to go into areas outside judicial review. “Constitutional morality is different from political party,” Justice Ramana observed.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 10:52:38 PM |

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