Discontent in party does not justify governor calling a trust vote, says SC on Shiv Sena row
The court said the fact that a governor can precipitate the fall of a government is a serious for India’s democracy.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that discontent in a party does not justify a trust vote being called by a governor while hearing petitions related to the political crisis in Maharashtra that took place after the split in the Shiv Sena, reproted Live Law.
On June 30, Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the Maharashtra chief minister following his revolt against his predecessor and party president Uddhav Thackeray. Shinde formed the government with some rebel members from Shiv Sena and support from Bharatiya Janata Party legislators. This caused a split in the Shiv Sena.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state was toppled after Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, who was the governor at the time, had asked Thackeray to seek a trust vote on June 28. Thackeray had challenged Koshyari’s order in the Supreme Court a day later. But, the court refused to stay the vote, after which Thackeray resigned as the chief minister.
Shinde had claimed the support of 39 of the 55 Shiv Sena MLAs and 10 Independent legislators, reducing the Thackeray-led faction of the party to a minority in the Assembly. The Supreme Court is hearing several petitions filed by the two faction, including the legality of the Shinde government on the grounds that the chief minister was and others rebel MLAs were disqualified at the time of the trust vote.
At Wednesday’s hearing, the Supreme Court observed that governors should not enter into area that causes the fall of a government.
“You can never allow the governor to ask for a trust vote when there is absolutely nothing to shake the majority of the floor of the house,” the court led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrchud said reported The Print. “Governor may actually precipitate the falling of a government. That is very very serious for our democracy.”
The Supreme Court also asked why the trust was called since the rebellion had taken place within one party which was part of the coalition government in the state. The Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance comprised the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party along with Shiv Sena.
“Governor’s trust vote is where the majority in the House is shaken,” Chandrachud said, reported NDTV. “Where was there anything to indicate that?”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that the rebels had lost confidence in Thackeray. “Discontent in the party by itself will not justify governor calling a trust vote,” the Supreme Court noted.