SC order on Shiv Sena plea against floor test at 9 p.m.

After a marathon hearing of more than 3 hours, the Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on the plea by Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu, challenging the Maharashtra Governor’s direction to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to take a floor test and prove its majority in the House on Thursday.

A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala said the court will pronounce the order at 9 p.m.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Prabhu, contended that it won’t be proper to have a floor test with hands of the Speaker tied and urged the court to either allow the Speaker to decide the disqualification proceedings or defer the floor test.

Concluding his arguments, Singhvi urged the top court to balance the equities and defer the floor test by a week.

He also urged the top court to allow the Speaker to decide the disqualification proceedings, or advance the hearing in the matter.

The petitions filed by the Eknath Shinde faction against the disqualification notices issued to the 16 rebel MLAs by the Deputy Speaker are scheduled for hearing on July 11.

Singhvi said the Shivraj Singh Chouhan (2020) judgment applies only if there is no fetter on the Speaker and “the floor test and disqualification proceedings are undoubtedly related after your lordships have put a fetter on the Speaker”.

He said this court can’t allow a constitutional sin by disabling the Speaker but permitting the floor test.

He said the Governors are not angels, and they are humans and added that the Governor may not be bound by aid and advice of the Council of Ministers but he has the basic duty to consult them.

He said if a floor test done on Thursday, followed by a disqualification of the MLAs to be proceeded by the Speaker, is irreversible. “We cannot live in a theoretical world. It is irreversible,” he said.

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