SC orders floor test in MP Assembly by 5 p.m. on Friday

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) In a major development amid the ongoing Madhya Pradesh political crisis, the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a floor test in the state Legislative Assembly be held on Friday and the proceedings be completed before 5 p.m.

The floor test will be done by show of hands, it said.

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justice Hemant Gupta said the test is essential to the political uncertainty in the state. The bench also directed the Karnataka DGP to provide security to 16 rebel Congress MLAs who may want to attend the floor test.

“The session of the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly which has been deferred to 26 March 2020 shall be reconvened on 20 March 2020. The meeting to be convened shall be confined to a single agenda, namely, whether the government of the incumbent Chief Minister continues to enjoy the confidence of the House,” it said.

The court said that the voting on the agenda shall take place by show of hands, as the Governor having clarified by his letter dated March 15 that there is no provision for recording the division by ‘press of button’, and the proceedings shall be videographed and, if a provision exists for live telecast of the proceedings.

“All authorities, including the Legislative Secretary, shall ensure that there is no breach of law and order in the course of the proceedings and that the floor test is conducted in a peaceful manner,” it ruled.

The court added that the Director General of Police, Karnataka as well as the Director General of Police, Madhya Pradesh shall ensure that there shall be no restraint or hindrance whatsoever “on any of the sixteen MLAs taking recourse to their rights and liberties as citizens. In the event that they or any of them opt to attend the session of the Legislative Assembly, arrangements for their security shall be provided by all the concerned authorities”.

The top court will publish a detailed judgement on the matter latter, observing that the judgement will take some time on submissions made by parties in the case.

“The state of uncertainty in the state of Madhya Pradesh must be effectively resolved by issuing a direction for convening a floor test, bearing in mind the principles which have been enunciated in the decision of the nine-Judge Bench of this Court in S.R. Bommai v Union of India,” said the court.



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