While hearing BJP's plea demanding floor test in Madhya Pradesh assembly, Supreme Court on Thursday suggested Speaker's counsel Abhishek Singhvi about appointing an 'independent observer' or 'conduct a meeting of rebel MLAs with the speaker through video conferencing'. Even as the hearing continues at the time of publishing this article, Supreme Court Justice Chandrachud said that the apex court can appoint an observer to ensure balance.
Justice Chandrachud said, "We can appoint an observer, ensure balance. Conduct this through video conferencing?" "We gave you a clear methodology to alleviate the issue of captivity, we intend to appoint an observer who will be the only one in the room, added Justice Chandrachud suggesting a mechanism for the Speaker to have a meeting with rebel MLAs. However, advocate abhishek Singhvi appearing for the speaker, rejected the offer. The hearing of the case is still going on and the final verdict is awaited.
The Madhya Pradesh speaker had on Tuesday adjourned the state assembly till March 26, after which BJP move the Supreme Court. The apex court on Tuesday served notice to the speaker, Principal Secretary of assembly and the Governor. The plea filed by the party - Shivraj Singh Chouhan vs Speaker NP Prajapati, urged the top court to order a floor test to ensure a stable government in Madhya Pradesh.In the plea, the saffron party has stated that Kamal Nath government has "lack of confidence" and his government has been "reduced to a minority." "It has no moral, legal, democratic or constitutional right to remain in power even for a single day."
Even as the Congress and the BJP MLAs reached the assembly on Monday morning amid uncertainty on floor test, Kamal Nath's letter to the Governor surfaced, in which he had said that Floor test at this time is 'undemocratic.' He added that he had already apprised Governor BJP's attempts of poaching and horse-trading. He added that the floor test is only possible when the MLAs are set free.
"Floor test in such a situation will be unconstitutional and undemocratic." Citing Paragraph 173 and 175 of a verdict by Supreme Court in the Nabam Rebia and Bamang Felix Vs Deputy Speaker, Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly and others, he said that governor has limited powers. He went on to accuse the governor of trusting the BJP sources to believe that Kamal Nath government has lost its majority.
With the current halfway mark at 114 in the 228-MLA assembly, BJP currently holds 107 MLAs of its own. Congress which held 114 MLAs - has now been reduced to 108, with the acceptance of the six ministers' resignation. Overall, if the resignation of all 22 rebel MLAs is accepted, the halfway mark will be reduced to 103.