The Supreme Court has ordered a floor test to be held in Goa on March 16 at 11 am. The Supreme Court also refused to stay the oath taking ceremony of Manohar Parrikar as the Chief Minister of Goa. He is scheduled to take oath at 5 pm.
The ruling came on a petition that challenged the invitation to the BJP by the Governor despite the party not being the single largest party in the state.
The petitioner said that 15 days was too long a time for the BJP to prove its majority. It should be done immediately. The petitioner also sought for a composite floor test to be held in the Goa assembly. The plea was however denied and the SC said that the BJP since it has claimed it has the numbers should be given the opportunity to prove its majority on the floor of the House.
Here is how the arguments unfolded in the Supreme Court:
- Congress is the single largest party in Goa said Abhishek Manu Singhvi arguing for the petitioner.
- Senior counsel Harish Salve said that the Governor was right in exercising his power under Section 164(1) of the Constitution.
- Chief Justice J S Khehar pointed out that in Arunachal Pradesh judgment court had held that in few conditions Governor can take a call.
- Salve hands out list saying Parrikar has the majority on the floor of the house.
- Singhvi says Governor should have at least called the Congress just for satisfaction.
- Justice Tarun Gogoi on the special bench along with the CJI asks Singhvi if he had the numbers to form the government.
- CJI says when no party has majority, Governor can take a call on ascertain who has majority.
- It is about Constitutional impropriety not the numbers, Singhvi argued
- What can be worse than forming a government and then losing majority in the assembly, CJI points out to Congress.
- Give us a list of the majority, then you have made your case, SC tells Congress petitioner challenging formation of BJP government in Goa.
- The practise was unconstitutional, petitioner alleges while challenging invitation to BJP to form government in Goa.
- It is bounden duty of Governor to ascertain who has majority, says CJI
- Where are the affidavits with letters of support asks SC. You have not come with any numbers, SC tells petitioner
- It is constitutionally and legally wrong says petitioner
- Follow healthy practise, not just convention of calling single largest party says SC.
- What is the harm in holding the floor test tomorrow? Why has Parrikar been given 15 days, petitioner asks
- Do you have proof to question Parrikar's claim that he does not have support of 21 MLAs, SC asks.
- Can floor test be ordered before Parrikar take oath, SC asks. Harish Salve says no.
- Congress asks for composite floor test. SC says no, orders floor test on March 16 at 11 am.