The swear-in ceremony of Mr. Parrikar will stay tomorrow till the order of Supreme Court in the matter filed by the CLP leader Babu Kavlekar. He has raised 10 grounds in the petition which will be heard tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the Congress Legislative Committee has decided to stake the claim before the Governor of Goa tomorrow for forming the government in the state. The party has also initiated the legal proceedings against the appointment of Manohar Parrikar on the post of the Chief Minister of by the Goa governor. The petition claims that the appointment of Mr. Parrikar is not eligible prior to contest and winning the election. Mr. Parrikar is supposed to swear in for the post of CM tomorrow in the function to be held at Raj Bhavan.
Based on the information available from the reliable sources, the Congress has moved to the Supreme Court to challenge BJP taking charge of Goa despite winning fewer seats in the just-concluded assembly elections. The Congress will seek a stay on Manohar Parrikar’s swearing-in as Goa Chief Minister scheduled for tomorrow. The petition has been filed by Goa Congress Legislative Party leader who says Goa’s Governor Mridula Sinha’s decision to invite the BJP to form the government is illegal. The petition says the single largest party should have been asked to for the government.
Mr. Parrikar was set to take oath as the Goa Chief Minister for the fourth time tomorrow. He declared before the media today saying that, he has resigned from PM Narendra Modi’s council of ministers to go back to his home state. The incumbent BJP with 13 seats claims to have the support of eight other legislators needed to cross the magic mark. Mr. Parrikar will have to prove his majority in the assembly within 15 days of swearing in. He will also have to get elected to the state legislature within six months. (source)
According to the sources in the CLP (Congress Legislative Party) the newly elected Leader of CLP, Chandrakant Kavlekar had moved to the Supreme Court on Monday night against the decision of Governor Mrudula Sinha for inviting Manohar Parrikar led BJP to party to form the government in the state despite the fact that Congress emerged as the single largest party in the state of Goa post-election. Mr. Kavlekar has challenged the move of governor in the court, said the sources.
Despite of the week-long holiday for the courts due to ongoing Holi festival the Judge CJI J S Khehar has agreed to take up the matter on Tuesday by setting up of the special bench to hear the plea of Mr. Kavlekar for setting aside the Governor’s order to appoint Parrikar as the Chief Minister of Goa., said the sources. The petition has been filed through advocate Devadatt Kamat and Gautam Talukdar. With the oath-taking ceremony scheduled for March 14, Parrikar may have to wait for SC hearing on Kavlekar’s petition, which sought to quash of Governor’s decision to invite BJP led by Parrikar to form a government.
According to the sources, the petition had been drafted by the Top legal brains of Congress, including senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who claims that the Governor by appointing Parrikar as CM of the state has violated established constitutional practices as BJP has won just 13 seats as against 17 by Congress, which emerged as the single largest party in a hung assembly thrown up after recent elections. The state Assembly has a strength of 40 MLAs.
Kavlekar said the Supreme Court’s Constitution bench had severely criticized Bihar Governor Buta Singh for not inviting the single largest party led by Nitish Kumar in a situation where the elections had not ensured majority to any party though JD (U) had emerged as the single largest party. He also said that the Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State relations in a federal structure has recommended that single largest party must get the invitation to form the government to eliminate political manoeuvring by Centre through the governor. “BJP, which has only 13 MLAs in the Assembly, in order to get the mandate of the people which has thrown it out of power, has, using its political clout in the Centre, sought to claim that it has the requisite majority with the purported help of certain smaller powers,” Kavlekar said. (source)
“As per well established constitutional norms and conventions, the single largest party ought to have been given an opportunity to form the government and prove its majority. However, the Governor with her hasty decision on March 12 has appointed Manohar Parrikar as the CM and has invited the BJP (which has only 13 MLAs in the legislative Assembly) to form the government and scheduled oath taking ceremony on March 14,” he said. “The entire object of this hasty night political manoeuvring by the powers that be is to defeat the mandate of the people and to somehow grab power by misusing the office of the Governor,” Kavlekar said terming the Governor’s decision to appoint Parrikar as CM as unconstitutional.
Here are the 10 major grounds raised in the petition
- The decision of the Governor is completely tainted with arbitrariness, malafide, partisanship and has been taken in an extremely hasty manner on the night of 12.03.2017 to pre-empt any staking of the claim by a single largest party. As such it is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.
- The recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission have been reiterated in the Punchhi Commission Report, which has also been approved and endorsed by this Hon’ble Court in Nabam Rebia and Bamang Felix v. Deputy Speaker, Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly &Ors., (2016) 8 SCC 1,
- The entire object of this hasty late night political manoeuvring by the powers that be is to defeat the mandate of the people and to somehow grab power by misusing the office of the Governor. It is submitted that the impugned decision of the Governor to appoint Shri Parrikar as the Chief Minister and inviting the BJP to form the government is completely unconstitutional and against the settled constitutional conventions in this regard in India. Law has been well settled by Supreme Court that Constitutional Convention is as binding as Constitutional Law. [Via Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association v. The Union of India, (2016) 5 SCC 1 (para 767 and 768); Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association v. Union of India, (1993) 4 SCC 441].
- The BJP, which is only having 13 MLAs in the Legislative Assembly, in order to get the mandate of the people which has thrown it out of power, has, using its political clout at the Centre, sought to claim that it has the requisite majority with the purported help of certain smaller parties
- The Governor, in blatant violation of the well-established constitutional conventions of inviting the single largest party to form the Government, has instead invited the BJP to form the Government and has scheduled to administer the oath of office to the unelected Chief Minister and his cabinet on the14.03.2017.
- There was no pre-poll alliance of any party prior to the elections. Despite the same, the Governor in a complete departure from the Sarkaria Commission as well as M.M. Punchhi commission recommendations, requiring her to invite the single largest party (in this case the Indian National Congress) to form the government, has acted with utmost haste.
- The facts of the isin pari materiato the facts of the case in Anil Kumar Jha v. The Union of India, (2005) 3 SCC 150 and as such deserve to be interfered with by the Supreme Court.
- Governor blatantly overlooked the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission Report as well as the M.M. Punchi Commission Report on Centre-State relations, wherein detailed procedure has been laid down for the appointment of Chief Minister in case no party garners the requisite majority to form a government on their own.
- Respondents, by the impugned decision, have virtually sought to strangulate the will of the people and have used the office of the Governor to suit their political needs.
- The discretionary powers exercised by the Governor are not beyond the pale of judicial review and any illegal and arbitrary decision taken against the constitutional provisions and conventions is liable to be interfered with and struck down by Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction as a sentinel on the qui vive of the Constitution. The discretionary powers under the Constitution conferred on the Governor are not the ipsi dixit of the Governor but have to be exercised within the constitutional norms and conventions guiding the exercise of such discretion. (source)
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