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SC defers hearing over govt formation in Maharashtra

New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Sunday said it is not aware of the order of the Maharashtra Governor B.S. Koshyari over government formation in Maharashtra, as they deferred the hearing for Monday.

The apex court’s remarks came at the extraordinary hearing.

Judges said in this court “sky is the limit” and said to ask any question, as senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi questioned prayers in the writ petition. Judges said “we are not aware of the order of the Governor.”

Congress counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the Supreme Court as to how can Ajit Pawar become the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) when 41 of 54 elected NCP members signed a document at 3.30 p.m. on November 22. These MLAs said Ajit Pawar is not NCP legislative party leader.

Singhvi argued Supreme Court has consistently ordered floor tests to be held immediately under such scenario.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta and senior advocate Rohatgi, appearing for some BJP MLAs, objected to the submission in petition that the political parties claiming violation of fundamental rights in the Supreme Court. These parties should go to the Bombay High Court.

Rohatgi said there was no need for this Sunday hearing. Justice Ashok Bhushan said that is prerogative of the Chief Justice.

Singhvi said BJP is shying from a floor test. Floor test is not adverse to newly sworn Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister. Rohtagi said correct procedure is party should be served and some time should have been given to respond, and there should be not be an urgent hearing.

The Governor’s decision is not open to judicial review, Rohtagi said before the Supreme Court.

Rohtagi said all the prayers in the petition are directed against the Governor. Governor’s choice is not open to judicial review. But Congress insisted on floor test on Sunday or Monday.

Rohatgi countered the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP petition that Governor/President has some discretion and immunity under Article 361 to choose a person who stakes claim and appoints him Chief Minister or Prime Minister. The bottomline is ultimately the majority has to be proved on the floor of the House.