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The Supreme Court on Thursday said that had Uddhav Thackeray refrained from resigning as the chief minister of Maharashtra, the court could have reinstated him, but the court cannot quash a resignation. The top court also held that the Governor erred in concluding that Uddhav Thackeray had lost the majority in the House.
A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said the court cannot quash the resignation submitted by Thackrey.
The bench made it clear that had Thackeray refrained from resigning, it could have reinstated him, but the court can't quash a resignation.
The bench noted that the petitioners argued for restoring the status quo ante, however, Thackeray did not face the floor test.
The top court held that the Maharashtra Governor erred in concluding that Uddhav Thackeray had lost the majority in the House.
The bench said the lack of security to MLAs (Eknath Shinde faction) is not a reason to conclude that a government has fallen and it was nothing, but an extraneous reason to be relied upon by the Governor.
The top court said the Governor had no objective material to doubt the confidence of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and to call for a floor test.
The bench noted that Devendra Fadanvis and independent MLAs also didn't move a no confidence motion and the Governor's exercise of discretion was not in accordance with the law.
The bench said neither the Constitution nor the law empowers the Governor to enter the political arena and play a role either in inter-party or intra-party disputes.
The top court pronounced its judgment on the political crisis in Maharashtra in connection with the rebellion by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde and other MLAs, leading to the fall of Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray.