SC refuses to stay Parrikar swearing-in

Apex court blasts Cong for not giving affidavits
Last Updated 14 March 2017, 19:20 IST

In a setback to the Congress, the Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed its plea for a stay on the swearing-in of Manohar Parrikar as chief minister of Goa and requested the governor to call for a floor test on Thursday.

Agreeing for an urgent hearing on a petition filed by Chandrakant Kavlekar, the leader of the Congress Legislative Party in Goa, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also rapped the Congress for not furnishing the affidavits of legislators supporting its claim to form the government in Goa.

The Congress had emerged as the single largest party in the Goa election, winning 17 seats but four short of majority. The BJP which emerged second with 13 seats managed to get on board smaller outfits and independent legislators and staked claim to form the government with Manohar Parrikar as their leader.

“Did you file the names of MLAs who support you in your representation to the governor? You could have demolished their case in 30 seconds if you could show the number of MLAs supporting you,” the bench asked senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared on behalf of the Congress. The bench said the petitioner had failed to come out with affidavits of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (GMP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP) MLAs indicating support to him.

“You (Congress) don’t have the numbers and that is why you did not claim to form government. You have not demonstrated before the governor that the number is in your favour,” the bench told the petitioner.

“You are putting us in the position of the governor. You should have stated these things before the governor,” the bench observed.

The court also took on record Goa governor’s letter showing support of three members of the MGP, three of the GFP and two independents to the BJP taking its strength to 21 in a House of 40.

Disposing of the petition, the court said all issues raised can be resolved through a simple direction of holding the floor test. The bench also requested the governor to summon the House for conducting the floor test. The bench also found fault with the petition filed by the Congress as it had not impleaded Manohar Parrikar as a necessary party.

“You know his name . He has been the defence minister of the country,” the bench said, and added “you don’t even implead the CM. You don’t have the affidavit of the members who are supporting you.”

(Published 14 March 2017, 19:20 IST)

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