Maharashtra Crisis: Supreme Court Orders Open Floor Test at 5pm Wednesday

UPDATED at 6.40pm on 26 November 2019 with information on resignation of Devendra Fadnavis as CM and Ajit Pawar as deputy CM, which makes the apex court decision for a floor test redundent

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed open floor test of the new government in Maharashtra at 5pm on Wednesday after administrating oath to newly elected representative.

The Supreme Court gave specific directions for conduction the floor test. It says, "pro-tem speaker should be solely appointed immediately. All elected members should take oath on 27 November 2019, which exercise should be completed before 5pm. Immediately thereafter, the pro-tem speaker should conduct the floor test in order to ascertain whether the respondent no3 (Devendra Fadnavis) has the majority, and these proceedings should be conducted in accordance with law. The floor test will not be conducted by secret ballot. The proceedings have to be live telecast and appropriate arrangements are to be made to ensure the same."  

The three-judge bench of Justice NV Ramana, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, said, senior most member of legislative assembly (MLA) of the house should be nominated as the pro-tem speaker and he will administrator oath to all elected MLAs on 27th November.

The pro-tem speaker will administer oath to and then conduct floor test without secret ballot, the apex court has said, adding the proceeding of the floor test would be telecast live on TV channels, the bench said.

It said, "We may note that in the present case, oath has not been administered to the elected members even though a month has elapsed since the declaration of election results. In such emergent facts and circumstances, to curtail unlawful practices such as horse trading, to avoid uncertainty and to effectuate smooth running of democracy by ensuring a stable government, we are of the considered opinion that it is necessary to pass certain interim directions in this case. In this context, it is necessary and expedient to conduct the floor test as soon as possible to determine whether the chief minister, who was administered the oath of office, has support of the majority or not."

It also observed that there is need to respect separation of jurisdictions of legislature and courts and the courts should intervene only as a last resort. "This (Maharashtra) is one such case," the bench headed by Justice Ramana said.

UPDATE: Hours after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday, newly sworn-in chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar both resigned, making the apex court ruling redundant.

Following the court directions, the Maharashtra governor has selected Kalidas Kolambkar from BJP as pro-tem speaker of the legislative assembly. Mr Kolambkar will administer oath to the newly elected MLAs on Wednesday at 8am.

Mr Kolambkar, an eight time MLA, started his political career with Shiv Sena and later had joined Congress along with Narayan Rane. At present, both Mr Komabkar and Mr Rane are with BJP.

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    COMMENTS

    Parimal Shah

    2 weeks ago

    I am a citizen residing in the state of Maharashtra.
    ShivSena breaking alliance with BJP is an act of cheating with the people of Maharashtra. Most people who voted for ShivSena candidate did so because there was no BJP candidate.
    Had the people known that ShivSena would be joining NCP and Congress they would have rather voted as NOTA.
    Hence those Shivsena candidates who are elected in constituencies where there was no BJP candidate should be declared disqualified and fresh election needs to be held in those constituencies.
    I therefore urge the Supreme court to take a suo motou cognizance of this fact and pass appropriate judgement on the issue.

    Tapan Sinha

    2 weeks ago

    Money money money / cash cash cash /rupiah rupiah rupiah/ taka taka taka taka.......



    ACB: Irrigation scam case relating to Ajit Pawar not closed, investigation still on
    Messages have been circulating on social media that the Vidarbha Irrigation scam case has been officially closed two days after Ajit Pawar coalesced with the BJP to form the government in Maharashtra and was sworn-in as the Deputy Chief Minister of the state. 
     
    KattaNews’ has posted a tweet on their feed claiming that the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) has given a clean chit to Ajit Pawar and that the investigation file has been closed. 
     
     
    However, this is not the the complete truth. Asian News International (ANI) has tweeted, “According to highly placed sources in Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), in the list of cases being circulated on social media, none of the cases belong to alleged irrigation corruption case against Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar”
     
     
     
    ANI has quoted ACB DG Parambir Singh, “None of the cases that were closed today are related to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar”. They have further clarified through their sources in the ACB, that the cases that were closed today were conditional and could be reopened if more information comes to light or courts order further inquiry. 
     
    The Maharashtra ACB has also put out a statement clarifying that it had closed the probe into alleged irregularities in nine irrigation projects in Maharashtra and explained that none of these cases were linked to deputy CM Ajit Pwar.
     
    The file of inquiry against Ajit Pawar was opened after Fadnavis, gave the go-ahead in 2014 to ACB to open an inquiry into Pawar and other top NCP leaders. Ajit Pawar’s role in the Rs70,000 crore irrigation scam was unravelled following a series of exposes in 2012, where irrigation project costs were found to have been inflated and awarded to select dam contractors. 
     
    As the water resources minister, Pawar was accused of granting project approvals totalling Rs20,000 crore during an eight-month period in 2009 without the mandatory clearance of the governing council of Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation. 
     
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    COMMENTS

    MOHAN BHASKAR WAGH

    2 weeks ago

    ALL CORRUPT PERSONS MUST BE PROSECUTED

    Ramesh Poapt

    2 weeks ago

    AP fate depends after maha govt formation!

    Nakul Kumar Reddy

    2 weeks ago

    Investigate and imprisoned those team.

    Bills on corporate tax, unified regulator for IFSCs in LS on Monday
    The government will introduce two important Bills in the Lok Sabha on Monday -- the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill and the International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs) Authority Bill.
     
    These Bills were cleared by the Union Cabinet on November 20. The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill provides for reduction in rates of corporate income tax as an additional fiscal stimulus to attract investment, generate employment and boost growth.
     
    A new provision was inserted in the Income Tax Act that with effect from the current financial year (2019-20), an existing domestic company can opt to pay tax at 22 per cent plus surcharge at 10 per cent and cess at 4 per cent if it does not claim any exemption.
     
    Since these could have been achieved through an amendment to the Income tax Act, 1961 (IT Act), or to the Finance Act, as the Parliament was not in session, it was done through promulgation of The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 (the Ordinance) in September, 2019.
     
    The same Cabinet meeting also approved the introduction of International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill, 2019, in the Lok Sabha after its withdrawal from the Rajya Sabha. This provides for a unified financial regulator for IFSCs.
     
    The Union Cabinet in a meeting held on February 6, 2019, had approved the proposal for the establishment of a unified authority for regulating all financial services through the introduction of the International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill 2019 in the Parliament. Subsequently, the Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on February 12, 2019.
     
    The withdrawal from Rajya Sabha has been necessitated as the Lok Sabha Secretariat has now conveyed that this is a Finance Bill under Article 117(1) of the Constitution which should be introduced in the Lok Sabha accordingly with the recommendation of the President under Article 117(1) and 274(1) of the Constitution.
     
    The introduction of the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 will replace the Ordinance issued in September.
     
    Economic developments after the enactment of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 2019 along with reduction of the rate of corporate income tax by many countries world over necessitated the provision of additional fiscal stimulus to attract investment, generate employment and boost the economy.
     
    In order to promote growth and investment, a new provision was inserted in the IT Act to provide that with effect from the current financial year (2019-20), an existing domestic company may opt to pay tax at 22 per cent plus surcharge at 10 per cent and cess at 4 per cent if it does not claim any incentive/deduction. 
     
    The effective tax rate for these companies comes to 25.17 per cent. They would also not be subjected to Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT).
     
    In order to attract fresh investment in manufacturing and provide a boost to the 'Make in India' initiative of the government, another provision was inserted to the IT Act to provide that a domestic manufacturing company set up on or after October 1, 2019 and which commences manufacturing by March 31, 2023, may opt to pay tax at 15 per cent plus surcharge at 10 per cent and cess at 4 per cent if it does not claim any incentive/deduction. The effective rate of tax comes to 17.16 per cent for these companies. They would also not be subjected to MAT.
     
    Currently, the banking, capital markets and insurance sectors in IFSCs are regulated by multiple regulators i.e. RBI, Sebi and Irdai. The dynamic nature of business in the IFSCs necessitates a high degree of inter-regulatory coordination. It also requires clarifications and frequent amendments in the existing regulations governing financial activities in IFSCs.
     
    The development of financial services and products in IFSCs would require focused and dedicated regulatory interventions. According to an official statement, a need is felt for having a unified financial regulator for IFSCs in India to provide world class regulatory environment to financial market participants.
     
    Further, this would also be essential from an ease of doing business perspective. The unified authority would also provide the much-needed impetus to further development of IFSCs in India in-sync with the global best practices.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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