Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is getting setbacks after setbacks hampering its functioning. The latest setback has come from the Supreme Court of India. The highest court of the country has rained down heavily on the unnatural coalition.
Supreme Court listens to BJP MLAs
Supreme Court (SC) has issued a strict rebuke to the MVA government of Maharashtra. The court was hearing on the suspension of 12 BJP MLAs by the Maharashtra Legislative assembly.
A bench comprising of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari was hearing arguments challenging suspensions. To fight for legislative and constitutional rights of suspended MLAs, Senior Advocates Mahesh Jethmalani, Mukul Rohatgi, Neeraj Kishan Kaul and Siddharth Bhatnagar were leading the charge.
Two judges Bench is against the suspension order
The judges were critical of the suspension order. They clearly stated that a one-year suspension is worse than expulsion from the assembly. For their assertion, they reasoned that in case of expulsion, a mechanism is already there which ensures that seats are filled; however, no such procedure has been outlined in case of suspension. Once suspended, the people represented by the MLAs also lose their voices in assembly.
Outlining the absurdity of the suspension order, Court indirectly termed it anti-constitutional. According to Article 190 (4) of the constitution, a seat is deemed to be vacant in case a sitting MLA is absent from the house for more than 59 days; without taking permission.
Court has every right to protect people’s right
Senior Advocate C Aryama Sundaram (representing Maharashtra legislative assembly) argued that it’s not in the court’s jurisdiction to examine the punishment. The court was forthright in its support for people’s rights to have a leader in the assembly. Rejecting Sundaram’s argument, Court said that a constituency cannot go unrepresented for more than 6 months.
“..we can say that the decision to suspension can only operate till 6 months and later than that it will be hit by a constitutional bar”, Justice Khanwilkar told Sundaram.
In July last year, 12 members of the BJP were suspended in the Maharashtra assembly for one year. These members were alleged to have ‘misbehaved’ with the presiding officer.
Read more: They suspended members with impunity, now when their own are suspended they can’t take it
MVA Coalition is trying to hide its weakness
Things have not been well for the MVA coalition for a long time. Recently, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) accused the coalition government of interfering in its investigations. Agency is investigating an alleged extortion racket run by Anil Deshmukh, Maharashtra Home Minister.
Read more: ‘Maharashtra govt is trying to protect Anil Deshmukh,’ Supreme Court slams Uddhav govt for derailing probe
Other than external shocks, the coalition is constantly getting roughed up in internal politics as well. Adding to its woes, the dual of Devendra Fadnavis and Narayan Rane, and have recently uprooted them in electorally significant District cooperative elections.
Read more: BJP is dismantling MVA brick by brick, courtesy Devendra Fadnavis and Narayan Rane
The internal turbulence is in-built into the partnerships forged to build the MVA coalition due to parties belonging to different ideological spectrums. However, they should have worked to strengthen their own bonds, rather than suspending elected members for criticizing them.