Thursday, December 02, 2021

Tamil Nadu Governor can wait for SC ruling but should act soon: Bommai case judge

Tamil Nadu crisis: The Bommai judgment stipulated that floor test was the only criteria to judge whether the government enjoys majority in the legislature.

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi |
February 13, 2017 3:09:23 am
sasikala, panneerselvam, Bommai case judge, CM tamil nadu, tamil nadu CM, chennai CM battle, C Vidyasagar Rao, supreme court, O Panneerselvam, jayalallithaa death, Bommai versus Union of India case, sasikala vs panneerselvam, karnataka high court, indian express news, india news, indian express explained V K Sasikala with her party MLAs in Chennai on Sunday. PTI photo

With the role of Governor C Vidyasagar Rao drawing criticism, following the delay in resolving the ongoing political crisis in Tamil Nadu, former Supreme Court Judge P B Sawant has said the Governor must “act as early as possible” and allay the “impression that he is acting partisan”.

Justice Sawant was part of the nine-judge bench that delivered the landmark judgment in the S R Bommai versus Union of India case. “The Governor must act as early as possible. The only action he can take is to invite both the sides that have staked claim to get their MLAs and have a floor test in the Assembly at the earliest,” he told The Indian Express on the phone.

WATCH VIDEO | Former Supreme Court Judge Reacts To AIADMK Crisis, Says Tamil Nadu Governor Should Act Soon

Read | Why the battle in Chennai may be decided in SC

The Bommai judgment stipulated that floor test was the only criteria to judge whether the government enjoys majority in the legislature.

Read | Article 356: ‘Sow a wind, reap whirlwind’

On who should get the first chance to prove majority on the floor of the Assembly — caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam or AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala, who is claiming support of majority of the MLAs — Justice Sawant said, “The incumbent (Panneerselvam) should get the first chance. The Governor should call both and find out who are the MLAs supporting them. And then he should give first chance to the incumbent to prove majority. He can also call both the persons to the Governor’s House along with their MLAs.”

Asked if the Governor should wait for the Supreme Court judgment in the disproportionate assets case against Sasikala before taking a final decision, the former judge said, “If the judgment is imminent, he can wait, but not for long. The Governor can find out, he has his own sources, he has all the powers to make the inquiry about when the judgment is being delivered. Because, it should also not happen that he swears her (Sasikala) in and the same day or the next day, the judgment comes which disqualifies her. That also shouldn’t happen. He can make this query from the Supreme Court registrar-general or even the Chief Justice of India if a date (for delivery of judgment) has been fixed.”

WATCH VIDEO | Sasikala Breaks Down While Addressing AIADMK MLAs

Read | Six more MPs join O Panneerselvam camp, Sasikala puts up brave front

Asked if the Governor should act immediately to send out the message that he is not playing partisan politics, Justice Sawant said, “Yes, of course. He must not give the impression that he is acting partisan. There is no doubt about this. The Governor should be above both, and above any party politics. That is why he should act as early as possible. And, if this judgment is the reason for inaction, he should try to find out when it is expected to be delivered. He can ask the registrar-general to find out so that he doesn’t wait for months (without taking a decision).”

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