the Supreme Court of India has ruled that Uddhav Thackeray’s government cannot be restored as he had resigned before facing a floor test. The court also stated that the then-Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari was not justified in asking Thackeray to prove his majority in the assembly. The Court held that the Governor was wrong to interfere in an internal political dispute.
Furthermore, the Speaker’s appointment of Bharat Gogawale as whip was illegal, as only the whip recognized by the political party should be recognized by the Speaker. However, the court also stated that the government cannot be reinstated since Uddhav Thackeray had voluntarily resigned without taking the floor test.
The court refused to disqualify the 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, including Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, and directed the Maharashtra speaker to decide on their petitions within a reasonable timeframe. The court also upheld the governor’s call to invite Eknath Shinde to form the government, as the BJP was the largest political party in the house.
These comments were given by the Supreme Court in response to a number of petitions submitted by competing Shiv Sena groups on the political upheaval in Maharashtra brought on by a split in the Shiv Sena last year. Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha are also members of the bench that is headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud.
The Supreme Court ordered the bigger Constitution Bench to rule on whether Eknath Shinde and 15 other Shiv Sena MLAs might be removed from office for rebelling against the then-chief minister Uddhav Thackeray in June of last year. After Shinde, supported by the opposition BJP, orchestrated a split into the Shiv Sena and later created a new government in Maharashtra with the backing of the majority of MLAs, Uddhav Thackeray had pleaded with the Supreme Court to intervene.
The three-judge top court panel had forwarded the appeal filed by Shiv Sena rival parties about the political turmoil in Maharashtra to a five-judge Constitution bench in August of last year.
The bench then stated that a larger Constitution bench may need to be convened in order to evaluate some of the problems raised by the political turmoil in Maharashtra. Both Shiv Sena groups have petitions pending before the Supreme Court that they filed. The top court approved the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on June 30, 2022, on June 29.
It had turned down the governor of Maharashtra’s request that the then-chief minister Uddhav Thackeray demonstrate his majority support on the House floor on June 30. Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation as chief minister following the ruling of the supreme court, and Eknath Shinde was later sworn in.