The Bombay High Court today said Maharashtra Governor has the constitutional obligation to either accept or reject within a reasonable time the proposal sent by the chief minister along with his council of ministers nominating 12 persons as Members of the Legislative Council (MLCs).
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni held that it was the duty of the Governor to let the chief minister know about his views on the proposal within a reasonable time.
The bench passed its order on a petition filed by a Nashik-resident Ratan Soli Luth seeking a direction to Governor BS Koshyari to decide on the nominations submitted by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his council of ministers in November 2020 recommending 12 names for the posts.
The state government had expected the Governor to take a decision on the proposal within 15 days.
“In the present case, eight months have passed. This is a reasonable time according to us. It is important that the obligation of the governor in the present case is discharged without much delay,” the court said.
“While it is true that the governor is not answerable to the court, we hope and trust that the constitutional obligation is fulfilled,” it said.
Governor BS Koshyari has been under fire from the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance over the delay in approving the appointment of 12 MLCs.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had earlier this year taken a jibe at Governor Koshyari over his delay in announcing the names of the 12 nominees to the Legislative Council from the Governor’s quota, wryly remarking that he hoped the government would not have to go to court on this account.
“The MVA government had prepared a list of 12 nominees in adherence to the Constitution. The list has been sent to the Governor. But he has not yet taken a decision even after many months have passed,” Mr Pawar had said.
While the term of legislators (from the Governor’s quota) in the Upper House of the state Assembly had expired in June last year, the three MVA partners – Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress – had deferred sending its list of nominees until November.
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