Today's Paper

Floor test: SC asks M.P. govt. to respond today

Order on plea by Shivraj Chouhan

The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the Kamal Nath government time till 10.30 a.m. on March 18 (Wednesday) to respond to a petition filed by former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and nine other BJP MLAs, seeking a vote of confidence on the floor of the Legislative Assembly against the Congress ruling dispensation in the State.

‘Urgency of situation’

A Bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta said the “urgency” of the situation demanded a hearing on March 18 itself.

“We will have to issue notice. The appropriate thing would be to issue a short notice and keep it for tomorrow,” Justice Chandrachud orally addressed senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi for Mr. Chouhan and nine other MLAs. “Issue notice in view of the urgency of the situation and notice is returnable at 10.30 am at March 18. Liberty to serve the notice through email,” the court ordered. It also gave liberty to serve notice on 16 MLAs who have tendered their resignations.

The petition has arraigned the Assembly Speaker, Chief Minister Kamal Nath, the Principal Secretary of the Assembly, the State of Madhya Pradesh through the Chief Secretary and the Governor as respondents.

Mr. Chouhan and the BJP legislators, who approached the court on March 16, wanted the floor test to be held immediately, possibly within the next 12 hours.

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