The Supreme Court on Tuesday fast-forwarded Devendra Fadnavis floor test deadline, ordering the Maharashtra chief minister to clear the trust vote in the state assembly by tomorrow. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who had invited Fadnavis to take oath on Saturday morning, had given him till December 7 to prove his majority in the house.
“There exists a dispute in the role of the judiciary. Institutional comity must exist without judicial interference…. At this interim stage, parties must maintain constitutional morality,” ruled a three-judge bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna.
The special bench had been set up over the weekend to first hear the SOS from the coalition of three parties, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress, on Sunday. It held a longer hearing on Monday.
The coalition, Maha Vikas Aghadi, insists that it has the support of 162 lawmakers from the three parties in the 288-member state assembly. Governor Koshyari’s office told the Supreme Court that Fadnavis had come to him with letters to establish support of 170 legislators.
In staking claim to power, the BJP had heavily relied on the letter of support from NCP legislature party chief Ajit Pawar. But soon after Fadnavis took oath as chief minister, and Ajit Pawar his deputy, a stunned NCP asserted that Ajit Pawar had gone rogue and acted on his own. Before the day was over, Ajit Pawar was also stripped as chief of the legislature party.
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