Supreme Court upholds Shinde Government in Maharashtra

Supreme Court upholds Shinde Government in Maharashtra and Shinde’s CMship as far as the legal angle is concerned. In the course of the hearings in the Maharashtra political “crisis” matter before the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court of India, Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud asked the counsel for the Uddhav Thackeray Shiv Sena (UBT) a telling question: “So according to you we (the Court) do what? Reinstate? But you resigned.” Justice M R Shah took the CJI’s question forward: “How can the Court reinstate the chief minister who did not even face the floor test?”

Supreme Court
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Supreme Court’s Observation on Maharashtra Government

It is at this juncture that the matter of the Maharashtra Government effectively reached its logical conclusion. It is hard to question this observation made by the justices as Thackeray’s ill-thought resignation ahead of the floor test called by the Governor of the state, rendered this matter purposeless even before Court hearings began. The Court has also recognized that Thackeray’s resignation resulted in a legal dead-end, as the material relief being claimed by the petitioners, was effectively a request to the Court to reinstate a resigned government.

The Supreme Court has thus observed that it would be unable to restore the status quo ante because Thackeray did not take the floor test and tendered his resignation. Further, in a big blow to the UBT Sena, the Court has conclusively recognized that the action of the House in electing the Speaker, Rahul Narwekar, on July 3, 2022, is not illegal merely because some MLAs who participated in this process faced disqualification proceedings. Further, emphasizing the Speaker’s pivotal role, the Supreme Court has held that the Speaker is in fact entitled to determine who the “real” Shiv Sena was and correspondingly decide who the famed bow and arrow symbol belongs to.

In the event that the Court had attempted to reinstate the status quo, or decide the legitimacy of the whip, as requested by the petitioners, it would have effectively placed itself in the shoes of the Speaker and bypassed its constitutional mandate. Such powers lie beyond the Court’s horizons. However, despite this loss of legal standing of the Maharashtra Govt. crisis, naysayers are scurrying to clutch at straws in the quest to gain some moral high ground. This is despite the fact that every relief prayed for in the lead petition has been dismissed.


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