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Supreme Court to Take up Congress Petition Challenging Parrikar as Goa CM

The Supreme Court has agreed to urgently hear Congress' petition challenging appointment of Manohar Parrikar as Goa chief minister on Tuesday.

Debayan Roy |

Updated:March 13, 2017, 11:54 PM IST
Supreme Court to Take up Congress Petition Challenging Parrikar as Goa CM
File photo of the Supreme Court of India building. PTI

New Delhi: Supreme Court Chief Justice JS Khehar has agreed to form a special bench to hear on Tuesday a plea filed by the Congress against BJP's Manohar Parrikar taking oath as Goa chief minister.

The plea filed by Goa Congress legislature party leader Chandrakant Kavlekar’s plea challenges Governor Mridula Sinha’s decision to invite the BJP despite the Congress emerging the single largest party, saying it goes against “established constitutional practice.”

In a 40-member Goa Assembly, Indian National Congress (INC) had won 17 seats while BJP was trailing behind with 13 seats. But after candidates from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and three Independents decided to support the party, BJP had 22 MLAs which was a majority in the house. Accordingly, Governor Mridula Sinha invited BJP to form government with Manohar Parrikar as the Chief Minister candidate.

But Congress leader Kavlekar has now moved the apex court challenging the governor’s decision through advocate Devdatt Kamath, who is also the Additional Advocate General of Karnataka, as the case was mentioned for urgent hearing today evening.

Despite the courts being closed for Holi, the Chief Justice has decided to set up a special bench to hear Kavlekar’s plea in which he has stated that “in a hung Assembly, the Governor is duty bound to invite the largest party (Congress) to form the government".

Kavlekar has cited the famous SC judgment in the case of Rameshwar Prasad which mandated that the single largest party gets the first chance to form the government.

In Rameshwar Prasad and others versus Union of India, the governor of Bihar had dissolved the Assembly without convening it even once, at least for a floor test. The apex court struck this down as unconstitutional.

Even the Sarkaria Commission recommendations have been highlighted to show that the “recommendations were identical to the Rameshwar Prasad judgment".

Kavlekar has maintained that the Governor’s decision to invite BJP to form government was against established constitutional practice. Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi is set to argue the case on behalf of the Congress tomorrow in the top court.

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| Edited by: Debayan Roy
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