‘Governor can call for floor test’: SC upholds Tandon’s decision in MP

On March 19, SC had directed the Speaker to reconvene a session next day for conducting floor test

Kamal Nath and Lalji Tandon
Kamal Nath had resigned on March 20, after 15 months of taking over as the chief Minister of the state | File Photo

Weeks after former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath tendered his resignation, the Supreme Court on Monday (April 13) upheld the Governor Lalji Tandon’s decision asking the then Congress government to prove majority in the assembly.

The top court had on March 19 directed Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati to reconvene a special session the next day just for conducting the floor test, but its detailed order came on Monday. Upholding the governor’s decision, it said he has the power to call for a floor test.

Following the apex court order, Nath had resigned on March 20, after 15 months of taking over as the chief Minister of the state, which paved the way for formation of BJP government in the state led by Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

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On Monday, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta, in its detailed verdict rejected the submission of the then Kamal Nath government that governor at best can call session of assembly but cannot direct for holding floor test in the running house.

The top court relied on its landmark nine-judge SR Bomai verdict of 1994 and said that governor was right in calling for holding of trust vote.

It said there is no impediment to a governor asking a chief minister to hold a floor test, if he is of prima facie view that the government has lost majority.

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On March 19, the top court had observed that the “state of uncertainty must be effectively resolved by issuing a direction for convening a floor test.”

It had directed there shall be “single agenda” before the assembly whether the Congress government continues to enjoy the confidence of the House and the voting shall take place by “show of hand”.

The top court had issued as many as eight interim directions after the conclusion of two-day hearing on cross pleas of senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan and of MP Congress party and said that detailed judgement will be given later.

(With inputs from agencies)