[Maharashtra Political Crisis] Supreme Court refuses to stay Maharashtra floor test

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the floor test in Maharashtra that is scheduled to be held tomorrow (June 30, 2022). The Court was hearing a plea filed by Shiv Sena Chief Whip Sunil Prabhu challenging Governor's communication to the Assembly to conduct floor test.

A bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice JB Pardiwala however issued notice in the matter and asked the parties to complete the pleadings in the matter. The bench also clarified that the outcome of the floor test is subject to the outcome of the plea.

Sunil Prabhu, Chief Whip of Shivsena and a Member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly has moved the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution challenging the Governor's communication dated yesterday to hold a floor test on June 30, 2022 i.e., tomorrow.

Prabhu has alleged that the said communication is completely mala fide, unconstitutional, and illegal as the same has been issued in complete defiance to the fact that the Top Court is already seized with the issue of the disqualification proceedings initiated against Eknath Shinde and other MLAs. 

Prabhu's plea contends that the Governor has illegally invoked Article 175(2) of the Constitution to send a message to the Assembly for conduct of a floor test, which is beyond his Constitutional authority.

The plea claims that the Bhartiya Janta Party did not take it well that the Shivsena formed the government with NCP and Congress, breaking away its alliance with the BJP.

On the other hand, Eknath Shinde had alleged before the top court in his plea against their disqualification that there was great dissatisfaction prevalent amongst the members of Shiv Sena Party on account of Corruption in the Government, Administration regarding police posting, Corruption by then Home Minister Mr. Anil Deshmukh (who is in Jail), sitting Minority Minister Mr. Nawab Malik (who is in jail) for involvement with Underworld Don Dawood Ibrahim and 10 corruption by Transport Minister Mr. Anil Parab (who is investigated by the Enforcement Directorate), etc.

Moreover, Shinde along with other party members of the Shiv Sena Party alleged that the principles of the Shiv Sena, which is a Hindu Marathi Regional Political Party was being compromised due to unruly coalition of political parties in which MLAs of Shiv Sena were suffering the most.

"During the time period of last two and half years, the Party and its leadership have compromised party principles with different ideology that of INC and NCP. The further ideology of Late Mr. Balasaheb Thackray was to give clean and honest Government for the People of Maharashtra and also without compromising on principle of National Interest...", Shinde had submitted before the top court.

Senior Advocate, Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for Sunil Prabhu. While  Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the Governor of Maharashtra

Senior Counsels Neeraj Kishan Kaul and Sidharth Bhatnagar appeared for Eknath Shinde along with  Siddharth Dharmadhikari, Abhikalp Pratap Singh &  Utsav Trivedi, Advocates on record.

Case title: Sunil Prabhu Vs Principal Secretary, Governor of Maharashtra