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COLLEGIUM CONTROVERSY AND CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY REPORT : WITHOUT PREJUDICE ANALYSIS

January 20, 2023

Is NJAC a violation of Article 368 or violates the theory of pith and substance?  To understand we must go back to the root of the matter.      Brief History This issue is neither constitutional nor legal. The issue is to decide the procedure for appointment of Judges in High Courts namely the High Court and Supreme Court. As such the debate on the procedure to appoint judges to higher courts was debated forcefully by several leading giant members of the Constituent Assembly. But no consensus was drawn. The details we shall see here are below. But before that somewhere in the year 1991 by order and Judgement of the Supreme Court, a system was designed by the name Collegium. In Collegium 6-8 Judges would consider candidates for the office of the higher court judges which includes the Chief Justice of  State and Supreme Court Collegium members. Who selects the candidates and forwards the names to the Law Ministry for scanning intelligence background. There is no other role of the Government in the selection process. The President in the course gives his assent and notifies. Is this a correct system that was dreamt by the makers of our Constitution? Or is hit by pith and substance? Link to read Judgement : https://indiankanoon.org/doc/753224/ Current scenario and the allegations: Over a period of time, this system was allegedly affected by nepotism and it is alleged that it has created a monopoly. There were news reports as well as reports of a senior lawyer at the bar that 50% of the Judges are relatives of the ex-Judges. In the meantime, the Government enacted a law called National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 ( NJAC ) which was abrogated and declared ultra-vires by the Supreme Court. This resulted in the continuity of the Collegium System. In its logical and practical argument that the Judiciary, it’s argued that the participation of politicians in the selection process may vitiate the independence of the judiciary. This danger was also visualized by the late Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. For the said reason though amendments were moved to adopt the American method of appointment of judges to the higher courts same were withdrawn by respective Constituent Assembly members. However, the late Dr. Ambedkar could not have thought of the situation persisting today about the collegium system which has allegedly resulted in the monopoly of a few families. Here is the link: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/govt-gives-collegium-proof-of-nepotism-in-picks-for-hc-judges/articleshow/65220425.cms https://www.hindustantimes.com/india/50-hc-judges-related-to-senior-judicial-members-report/story-S8RP2Ir9cEuIN4NewFnvML.html   With this background let us see the history of this issue and why it did not reach finality during the finalization of the Constitution of India.    The Government of India Act, 1919 provided in Section 101 for the Constitution of High Courts; and the appointment of the Chief Justice and the permanent Judges were in the absolute discretion of the Crown, subject only to the prescribed conditions of eligibility. The tenure of their office, according to Section 102, was dependent entirely on the Crown’s pleasure. Under the Government of India, Act, 1935, appointments of Judges of the Federal Court and the High Courts were at the absolute discretion of the Crown or, in other words, […]

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Collectors Land in Mumbai and Transfers

January 4, 2023

      An interesting question was asked on Twitter on collectors’ land. The question was whether it is legal to ask for transfer charges by Collector Mumbai for issuing NOC of flats in Society standing on land belonging to Collector? In Mumbai Collector owns nearly 1282 properties on which development is permitted and sanctioned on Lease. As per the latest data available about 517 properties’ Lease has been expired and in Mumbai leases of about 149 properties have been expired. The government has given this land on meager yearly lease rent. So the Government prescribed a policy for the increase in ground rent on 5th October 1999. Which was challenged and directions were given to give a hearing to those whose lease has been expired and also give an opportunity to convert occupancy to Class II occupants on one-time payments as specified in the Circular. The lease of land for purposes other than Agriculture is granted under provisions inter-alia of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966 (“ Said Code” ) and the Maharashtra Land Revenue (Disposal of Government Lands) Rules, 1971 ( Said “ Rules”) . The Said Rule B-26 -27 empowers Collector to Grant Land for Residential use. It reads as under B. Grant of land for residential use 26. Disposal of building sites :- (1) Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the occupancy rights in building sites shall be disposed of by the Collector under Section 20 read with Section 31 by publication to the highest bidder, unless for reasons to be recorded in writing, the Collector thinks that in any particular case, there is reason for granting the land without auction. (2) Where a building site is to be disposed of without auction under sub-rule(1), the Collector shall dispose of the site in occupancy right under Section 20 read with Section 31 on inalienable tenure  [If the occupancy price determined under sub-rule(3) does not exceed Rs. 25,000 and with sanction of the Commissioner, if the occupancy price exceeds Rs. 25,000 but does not exceeds Rs. 1,00,000 and with the sanction of the State Government, in other cases.] (3) The Collector shall determine the occupancy price of the site, regard being had to the following factors that is to say, (a) the sale prices of similar lands in the locality; (b) the situation of the building site; (c) the availability of, and demand for, similar lands; (d) factors which are taken into account in determining the value of land under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. 27. Grant of land housing schemes :-Building plots may be granted by the State Government for various housing schemes undertaken by any housing board, local authority or co-operative housing society constituted under any law for the time being in force, in occupancy rights under Section 40 on inalienable and impartible tenure on payment of such concessional occupancy price as the State Government may, from time to time fix, regard being had to the nature of the scheme, and in the case of a co-operative housing society, to the income of the members, thereof, such income being ascertained after making such inquiries […]

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CAN A COPARCENER/CO-OWNER SELL HIS/HER SHARE IN A JOINTLY OWNED PROPERTY TO A THIRD PARTY? RIGHT OF PREEMPTION AGRICULTURE LAND VS RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY

December 30, 2022

 Let us first see the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act 1882 and the Hindu Succession Act 1956. Section 22 of The Hindu Succession Act 1956 Section 22 of the Act is as under:- “22. Preferential right to acquire property in certain cases – (1) Where, after the commencement of this Act, an interest in any immovable property of an intestate, or in any business carried on by him or her, whether solely or in conjunction with others devolves upon two or more heirs specified in class I of the Schedule, and any one of such heirs proposes to transfer his or her interest in the property or business, the other heirs shall have a preferential right to acquire the interest proposed to be transferred. (2) The consideration for which any interest in the property of the deceased may be transferred under this section shall, in the absence of any agreement between the parties, be determined by the court on application being made to it in this behalf, and if any person proposing to acquire the interest is not willing to acquire it for the consideration so determined, such person shall be liable to pay all costs of or incident to the application. (3) If there are two or more heirs specified in class I of the Schedule proposing to acquire any interest under this section, that heir who offers the highest consideration for the transfer shall be preferred. Explanation.- In this section, “court” means the court within the limits of whose jurisdiction the immovable property is situate or the business is carried on, and includes any other court which the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf.” OBITER Smt. Laxmi Debi v. Surendra Kumar Panda and Others by the High Court of Orissa. In this case the submission that Section 22 of the Act would not cover succession in respect of agricultural lands was rejected.It was observed and held that “It is clear that the Parliament had omitted the phrase “save as regards agricultural land” from item No. 5 of the Concurrent List in order to have a uniform personal law for Hindus throughout India, and accordingly, it necessitated the enlargement of Entry No. 5. We have no doubt, therefore, that in view of the change in law, the Act will apply to agricultural lands also, and the decision in AIR 1941 FC 72 (K) would no longer hold good.” The High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, in Smt. Prema Devi vs. Joint Director of Consolidation (Headquarter) at Gorakhpur Camp and Ors. held:- In List 2, Entry No. 18 is as follows:– “Land, that is to say, right in or over land, land tenures including the relation of landlord and tenant, and the collection of rents; transfer and alienation of agricultural land; land improvement and agricultural loans; colonization.” This entry which is in the exclusive jurisdiction of the State Legislature is in the widest term. All laws relating to land and land tenures are therefore, within the exclusive jurisdiction of the State Legislature. Even personal law can become applicable to land tenures […]

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COLLEGIUM AND CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY -PITH AND SUBSTANCE CONFLICT OR DEVIATION?

December 19, 2022

Nowadays Collegium is a topic of debate. It’s a system where the Committee of Justices of Higher Courts sanctions and recommends an appointment of an Advocate/Justice of the High Court to a higher bench or apex bench of the Judiciary. Which is under criticism. At present Collegium is a system that makes the appointment and recommends names to the President and Government of India.  However, as a matter of academic interest let us see the background of this issue. To draft the Constitution, a Constituent Assembly was constituted. In the said assembly the topic or article on the appointment of Judges to the higher judiciary amendments was discussed at length. Copy each of Part-1 and Part -2 of the Collegium discussion given below in the link. The following are the relevant resolutions. Proceedings before Constituent Assembly Mr. President: The question is: “That for clause (2) of article 103 the following be substituted:- ‘Every Judges of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal and shall hold office until he attains the age of sixty-five years: Provided that in the case of appointment of a Judge, other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of India shall always be consulted.’” The amendment was negatived. “That in clause (4) of article 103, for the words ‘supported by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting has been presented to the president by both Houses of Parliament ‘ the words ‘by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting has been presented to the President’ be substituted.” The amendment was adopted. Provision of Constitution: An evolution: Provision of Constitution : Establishment and constitution of Supreme Court.—(1) There shall be a Supreme Court of India consisting of a Chief Justice of India and, until Parliament by law prescribes a larger number, of not more than [seven] other Judges. (2) Every Judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal [on the recommendation of the National Judicial Appointments Commission referred to in article 124A]2  and shall hold office until he attains the age of sixty-five years: 3.[* * * * *] 4 [Provided that]— (a) a Judge may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office; (b) a Judge may be removed from his office in the manner provided in clause (4). 5 [(2A) The age of a Judge of the Supreme Court shall be determined by such authority and in such manner as Parliament may by law provide.] (3) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court, unless he is a citizen of India and— (a) has been for at least five years a Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession; or (b) has been for at least ten years an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts […]

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PREVAILING LAW RELATING TO THE TRANSFER AND TRANSMISSION OF SHARES ON THE DEATH OF A MEMBER  SHORTCOMINGS

November 14, 2022

 This  blog comes in wake of a judgment I came across of the Bombay High Court in the matter of  Karan Vishnu Khandelwal Omdham Cooperative Housing Society Ltd. Vs Deputy Registrar -K-West In this matter facts of the case were as under: Mannalal Surajmal Khandelwal (deceased) was owner of a flat no.1 and by virtue thereof, was entitled to share certificate. The deceased during his lifetime registered a nomination in the name of Petitioner- his grandson. The nomination was acknowledged by the managing committee of the society in it’s meeting held on and made an entry in the nomination register. Mr. Mannalal Khandelwal died intestate on 20thJanuary, 2011, leaving behind, Rajendra Mannalal Khandelwal (Son- Respondent No.2); Krishnakumar Mannalal Khandelwal (Son); and Petitioner- son of Vishnu Mannalal Khandelwal (predeceased son of deceased). That upon demise of Mannalal Surajmal Khandelwal, Respondent No.2 – Rajendra M. Khandelwal, made an application to the society, inter alia, seeking transfer of membership and the share certificate in his name. Along with the application, he submitted a No Objection cum Declaration’ and indemnity bond made and executed by Krishnakumar Mannalal Khandelwal. This way, the Respondent No.2 claimed 2/3rdshare and interest in the flat and sought transfer of proportionate interest in flat and claimed membership. The application was rejected by the society on 8thAugust, 2018. Whereafter, the Respondent No.2 preferred an appeal under section 23 (2) of the Maharashtra Societies Act (‘MCS Act’ for short), being Appeal No. 09 of 2019 before the Deputy Registrar. The Petitioner sought intervention in the said appeal. The Intervention was allowed. The Deputy Registrar vide order dated 8thFebruary, 2021 allowed the appeal and held that since the Respondent No.2 has acquired 2/3rdright in flat No.1, to that extent, his interest be noted in the society record. In consequence, the Deputy Registrar acknowledged 2/3rdundivided right of the Respondent No.2 and 1/3rdundivided right of the Petitioner in flat No.1 and directed to make entries in the society records. In revision, the Divisional Joint Registrar upheld the order of the Deputy Registrar and dismissed the revision application of the Petitioner. Feeling aggrieved by that order, the Petitioner has filed this petition. MATTER BEFORE BOMBAY HIGH COURT WHEN ERROR OF LAW OCCURRED The matter when came up before the Bombay High Court, the court observed that Registrar passed the impugned order in haste may be at the behest of respondent No.2. Therefore, the impugned order not only suffers from gross irregularity being passed in breach of principles of natural justice but also against the law, and therefore, deserves to be quashed and set aside. While passing the Judgement Bombay High Court relied upon Indrani Wahi Vs. Registrar of Co-operative Societies (Civil Appeal 4930/2006), held that the cooperative society was bound by nomination made by the deceased and it was bound to transfer the shares to the nominee While passing the Judgment Hon’ble Court it relied upon the provisions of Section 154-B(2) of Maharashtra Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Act, 2019. In any event, by. It reads under:     “154-13. On the death of a Member of a society, the society shall transfer share, right, title and interest in […]

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The chair

MAHARASHTRA CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY ACT LACUNAE ABUSE  OF POWER AN ANALYSIS AND SUGGESTIONS

October 5, 2022

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a men’s character, give him power.” Said Abraham Lincoln This aptly applies to the Managing Committee of a society. Once the power comes neighbor becomes your Master. There are many incidents where the committee manipulates bills and contracts, and even in redevelopment cases three honorary office bearers Secretary, Chairman, and Treasurer have weightage in the finalization of the deal. We see litigations and stalling of projects of a housing society. Human tendency is such that they think of self-gain, instead of taking care and executing responsibilities that they have taken with utmost care and truthfulness. Corrupt minds see financial benefits in every deal. They forget that while doing this they prejudice the property and interests of other flat members. Election: 1 With the new election rules, an election is held similarly to the way in which how elections are held in any Assembly and Parliament. Cartel is formed and elections are won. It has killed the neighborhood’s love, respect, and honor. One family and one flat provision are also violated royally. Even if distant relatives or cousins have a cartel. This creates a monopoly in management. Suggestion: Like Multi Co-operative society, provide that same member or any other joint member from one flat cannot contest the consecutive election. The flat owners/member must take a break or drop out from the next election to give an opportunity to other flat owners/members. So, after serving for 5 years the said member/flat owner cannot contest election for immediate subsequent another term. This will reduce the monopoly of a few flat owners and their families, and their friends. For the convenience of the readers and lawmakers reproduced below is the provision of the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act,2002 below which restricts reelection after two terms. Prohibition to hold the office of chairperson or president or vice chairperson or vice president in certain cases (1) No member of a board shall be eligible to be elected as the chairperson or president or vice-chairperson or vice-president of a multi-state cooperative society if such member is a Minister in the Central Government or a State Government. (2) No member of a board shall be eligible to be elected as the chairperson or president of a multi-state cooperative society, after he has held the office as such during two consecutive terms, whether full or part: Provided that a member who has ceased to hold the office of the chairperson or president continuously for one full term shall again be eligible for election to the office as such. Explanation:- where any member holding the office of the chairperson or president at the commencement of this Act is against elected to that office after such commencement, he shall for the purpose of this section, be deemed to have held office for one term before such election. Proposed Suggestion : A similar principle must be applied to the housing society. A.2 A Managing Committee was disqualified for 5 years, and an administrator was appointed. Managing Committee manages to suppress the facts from members of the society and manages that the […]

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CAN SOCIETY CHARGE MAINTENANCE CHARGES ON AREA WISE BY WHICH LARGER FLAT OWNERS CONTRIBUTE A LESSER AMOUNT THAN SMALLER UNITS?

September 30, 2022

  Nowadays an ultra-vires method of chargability has been adopted by several societies. The committee uses its majority power and misguides the General Body of members and passes the resolution.  Chargeability on unit-wise results in higher contribution by small flat owners and lower contribution by larger flat owners. Maintenance charges are the foundation to run the expenses of the society. Now first let us see the provisions in the Act of 1960 and the byelaws. Byelaws are contracts between the management and society. Any breach of byelaws amounts to a breach of contract and breach of trust. Any discrimination made is a serious breach of equal rights granted under the constitution of India. BYE-LAWS PROVISIONS FOR CHARGABILITY OF MAINTENANCE: LEVY OF CHARGES OF THE SOCIETY The contribution to be collected from the Members of the Society, towards outgoing and establishment of its funds, referred to in these bye-laws as ‘the charges’ may be in relation to the following : (i) Property Taxes, (ii) Water Charges, (iii) Common Electricity Charges, (iv) Contribution to Repairs and Maintenance Fund, (v) Expenses on repairs and maintenance of the lifts of the Society, including charges for running the lift. (vi) Contribution to the Sinking Fund, (vii) Service Charges, (Viii) Car Parking Charges, (ix) Interest on the defaulted charges, (x) Repayment of the installment of the loan and interest, (xi) Non-occupancy Charges, (xii) Insurance Charges, (xiii) Lease rent, (xiv) Nonagricultural tax. (xv) Education and Training Fund (xvi) Election Fund (xvii) Any Other Charges. The Service charges of the Society referred to at 64 (vii) above shall include the following: Salaries of the office staff, liftmen, watchmen, malis and any other employees of the Society. Where the Society has independent Office, the property taxes, electricity charges, water charges etc. for the same. Printing, Stationery and Postage, Travelling Allowance and conveyance charges to the staff and the Members of the Committee of the Society. Sitting fees paid to the Members of the Committee of the Society, Subscription to the Education Fund of the Maharashtra Rajya Sahakari Sangh Ltd. Annual Subscription of the Housing Federation and any other co-operative institution to which the Society is affiliated. Entrance fees for affiliation to the Housing Federation and any other cooperative institution. Audit Fees for internal, Statutory and reaudit, if any. Expenses incurred at meetings of the general body, the Committee and the Sub-Committee, if any k. Retainer fees, legal charges, statutory enquiry fees. Common electricity charges. Any other charges approved by the General Body at its Meeting. However such charges should not contradict the provisions of the Act, Rules and Bye-laws of the Society. 66. The Committee shall apportion the Share of each Member towards the charges of the Society on the following basis: Property taxes: As fixed by the Local Authority Water Charges: On the basis of the total number and size of inlets provided in each flat. iii. Expenses on repairs and maintenance of the building/buildings of the Society: At the rate fixed at the general body from time to time, subject to the minimum of 0.75 percent per annum, of the construction cost of each flat for meeting […]

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LAW GOVERNING DIVORCE BY MUTUAL CONSENT AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL  PROVISION

September 22, 2022

MARRIAGES ARE DECIDED IN HEAVEN BUT LIVED ON EARTH Introduction: Couples are so eager to get married but are not ready to accept duties and responsibilities. The problem starts from here. Marriage is the foundation of a healthy society. A fractured family gives a fractured and weak society. It gives an insecure future to the nation. Families spend lakhs and crores on the wedding with branded dresses, pre-wedding shoots, food, and ornaments but don’t focus on the spiritual and social aspects of marriage. So once the film of a wedding is over, couples enter the world of reality and find it difficult to manage their relationship with each other and with other family members. From divorce they give an insecure future to their kid if any, and to themselves. Their family members too. As laws in India are such people avoid staying together in fear of criminal prosecution, which is evidently misused in the majority of cases on advice to get divorce and alimony. As per data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in the report Crime in India 2020 about 5% of the cases under Section 498A were found to be false. The outcome is couples prefer to leave the country and settle abroad and seniors land in old age homes. These are serious dangers to society. So, should divorce by Mutual Consent be instant? Should six months cooling period be waived? If Yes,  on what terms? If No, then why? The issue involved: A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will start hearing on 28th September,  to consider the extent of its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, 1950, to dissolve the marriage. The 5-Judge Bench headed by Justice S.K. Kaul and comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, AS Oka, Vikram Nath, and JK Maheshwari was of the opinion that the real issue is the exercise of power under Article 142 when there is an irretrievable breakdown of marriage, but one party is not consenting to divorce. Shilpa Shailesh vs Varun Sreenivasan The Constitution Bench reference originates from a Transfer petition, wherein pursuant to the settlement, the parties had sought appropriate order of the Court to dissolve their marriage, and the same was granted by the Apex Court on the following grounds – there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage between the parties; the parties are consenting to divorce; requiring the parties to go to the jurisdictional family court to invoke the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 to seek a decree of divorce would be a lengthy process and that, the Family Courts in the country are already burdened with a huge volume of similar litigation. Dictum: Man is a social animal. He cannot live in isolation. To carry forward the human race a sacred institution is created by the name of marriage to have progeny. Who will continue the family tradition, language, dialect, culture, food habits, etcetera. In Hindus, marriage is a sacred institution and not contractual. It carries the sanctity of an institution namely marriage. What is important is to carry forward the family legacy too. Divorce was an […]

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CAN THE COURT RESTRAIN THE ELECTION COMMISSION TO DISCHARGE ITS CONSTITUTIONAL DUTIES WHEN THE HEARING OF THE MATTER IS NOT OVER? DOES IT AMOUNT TO ENCROACHMENT IN THE TERRITORY OF AN INDEPENDENT CONSTITUTIONAL BODY? MAHARASHTRA SHIV SENA SPLIT AND CONSTITUTIONAL BENCH

August 24, 2022

“Of course, inasmuch as the power of altering every feature of the Constitution remains elsewhere politically, the Constitution is neither the ultimate ‘‘political’’ sovereign nor a legally unalterable and absolute sovereign. All constitutional and ‘‘legal’’ sovereigns are necessarily restrained and limited sovereigns. I thought and still think that such a working theory should be acceptable to lawyers, particularly as the dignitaries of State, including Judges of superior Courts, and all the legislators, who have to take oaths prescribed by the Third Schedule of our Constitution, swear ‘‘allegiance’’ to the Constitution as though the documents itself is a personal Ruler. This accords with our own ancient notions of the law as ‘‘The King of Kings’’ and the majesty of all that it stands for: The Rightfulness of the Ends as well as of the means.” Kesvananda Bharti’s case (AIR 1973 SC 1461) The Supreme Court on Tuesday referred to a Constitution Bench the petitions filed by the rival groups of Shiv Sena in relation to the political development in State of Maharashtra.  This is Breaking News today. Several questions are before Supreme Court which will now constitute five Judges Bench. I will not touch the same. But can Court by its order restrain any constitutional independent body from discharging its function under the constitution for which it is constituted? First, let us see relevant provisions. Part XV of the Constitution provides for elections. Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission.—(1) The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature of every State and of elections to the offices of President and Vice-President held under this Constitution 1*** shall be vested in a Commission (referred to in this Constitution as the Election Commission). (2) The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament, be made by the President. (3) When any other Election Commissioner is so appointed the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the Election Commission. (4) Before each general election to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of each State, and before the first general election and thereafter before each biennial election to the Legislative Council of each State having such Council, the President may also appoint after consultation with the Election Commission such Regional Commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the Election Commission in the performance of the functions conferred on the Commission by clause (1). (5) Subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners shall be such as the President may by rule determine: Provided that the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the […]

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GOVERNOR’S POWER TO CALL A SPECIAL ASSEMBLY MEETING FOR A FLOOR TEST :   Case Study Maharashtra Crisis:

June 29, 2022

Before going for a detailed discussion let us see Constitutional Provision related to the Governor in calling a Floor Test Article 174: Sessions of the State Legislature, prorogation, and dissolution (1) The Governor shall from time to time summon the House or each House of the Legislature of the State to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session (2) The Governor may from time to time (a) Prorogue the House or either House; (b) dissolve the Legislative Assembly  Right of the Governor to address and send messages to the House or Houses (1) The Governor may address the Legislative Assembly or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, either House of the Legislature of the State, or both Houses assembled together, and may for that purpose require the attendance of members (2) The Governor may sent messages to the House or Houses of the Legislature of the State, whether with respect to a Bill then pending in the Legislature or otherwise, and a House to which any message is so sent shall with all convenient dispatch consider any matter required by the message to be taken into consideration Council of Ministers to aid and advise Governor (1) There shall be a council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is by or under this constitution required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion (2) If any question arises whether any matter is or is not a matter as respects which the Governor is by or under this Constitution required to act in his discretion, the decision of the Governor in his discretion shall be final, and the validity of anything done by the Governor shall not be called in question on the ground that he ought or ought not to have acted in his discretion (3) The question whether any, and if so what, advice was tendered by Ministers to the Governor shall not be inquired into in any court Note : Article 174 of the Constitution authorizes the Governor to summon, dissolve and prorogue the state legislative assembly. Article 174(2)(b) of the Constitution gives powers to the Governor to dissolve the Assembly on the aid and advice of the cabinet. The Governor can implement his own discretion when the advice comes from a Chief Minister whose majority could be in doubt. Under Article 175(2), the Governor can summon the House and call for a floor test to prove whether the government has the numbers.  Though the Governor can exercise the above only as per Article 163 of the Constitution which says that the Governor acts on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister. When the House is in session, it is the Speaker who can call for a floor test. But when the Assembly is not in […]

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