Courts Update SC dismisses plea seeking specific norms for nomination of...

SC dismisses plea seeking specific norms for nomination of members Maharashtra Legislative Council


New Delhi, Jul 2 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition seeking specific directions to prepare norms for nomination to Maharashtra Legislative Council by the Governor in discretion from specified fields to avoid party in power to make recommendations for it.

The Bench, led by Chief Justice NV Ramana and also comprising Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy said, “The Governor is bound by the advice of Council of Ministers. We are not here to advice the Governor.”

The matter was argued by Advocate Prachi Deshpande, who insisted the Bench to look into the language of Article 171 of the Constitution. But the Bench refused to interfere in the matter and dismissed the petition.  

The plea sought direction to the Union for framing and finalising the norms or criteria for the purpose of nomination of eligible and deserving persons as members of the Maharashtra Legislative Council, in consonance with the provision of Article 171 of the Constitution. 

The plea alleged, “Due to lack of specific norms or criteria as referred above the several eligible and deserving personalities are deprived from consideration of names for the purpose of their nomination as members of Maharashtra Legislative Council and thus, their fundamental right as contemplated under Article 14, is being violated.

“The difference between Articles 163 and 171(5) is that Article 163 of the Constitution speaks about any function by the Constitution to be exercised by the Governor of any state on his discretion, but on the condition of aid and advice of Ministers, whereas, Article 171(5) clearly and solely empowers the Governor to use his discretion in nominating the members of the Legislative Council.

“Therefore, it can be assumed and predominantly claimed that considering the present situation, it is the office of Governor who shall be exclusively exercising the nomination of the members as subjected to the eligibility and qualification criteria prescribed under 173(5) of the Constitution,” highlighted the plea.

“If the recommendations made by the Council of Ministers for the purpose of nomination under Article 171(5) of the Constitution are allowed to be considered as sole criteria, then the same will amount to amending the provision of Article 171(5) of the Constitution and carving out a new exception for the nominations under Article 171(5) of the Constitution.

“There is a risk that the Governor will lose its discretionary power and the same will go in the hands of political parties, which the Constitution does not allow and contemplate and so, the kind intervention of Supreme Court is anticipated in this matter,” the plea read. ILNS\ABV\RJ


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