The Supreme Court has ordered a majority test in the House by 5 PM on Wednesday evening in a crucial verdict on the political drama of Maharashtra. The newly appointed government has about 30 hours to prove its majority in the House. The court has also ordered the appointment of a pro-tem speaker. The pro-tem speaker will administer the oath of office and secrecy to all the MLAs.
The pro-tem speaker will conduct a majority test shortly thereafter. The Supreme Court has said in its order that the entire process will be broadcast live and that there will be no secret ballot.
The court said that there was a need to keep democratic values in mind and uphold the Constitution. The court based its judgment on the basis of Harish Rawat and SR Bommai cases.
Earlier on Saturday, the apex court had dismissed the joint petition of the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena that had sought cancellation of the Maharashtra government newly appointed by the governor. The opposition was demanding a majority test at the earliest.
On Sunday and Monday, the lawyers of the ruling and opposition parties had a heated debate in the court, after which the court had reserved its decision.
Support to Maharashtra govt to be tested under pro-tem speaker
The pro-tem speaker is one who presides over Parliament or a Legislative Assembly until the election of a permanent speaker or vice-president in the first session after an election. Simply put, a pro-tem speaker is a caretaker, temporary head of the House made for the limited purpose of conducting the business of the House until it has a long-lasting government.
Generally, the senior-most member of the House is entrusted with this responsibility. They discharge their duties related to the running of the House temporarily before the election of the full-time speaker and/or deputy speaker immediately after a Lok Sabha or Assembly election.
The Lok Sabha or a Legislative Assembly needs a pro-tem speaker even when both the speaker and the deputy speaker vacate the House. This situation can arise when both they die during their terms or resign from their respective posts.
In the Constitution, although the powers of the pro-tem speaker are not explicitly stated, for the short duration when they function, they are normally unable to exercise all the powers of a permanent speaker.
The following chart tells not only the seat strength of different parties in the Maharashtra Assembly but also the number of voters who support each party.
Results by alliance and party
|SS (Later changed to UPA)||16.41||3.04||90,49,789||11,86,183||56||19.44||7|
|None of the Above||1.35||0.43||7,42,134||2,58,675|