Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a PIL filed by Latur resident Jagannath Shamrao Patil on nomination of members to the Maharashtra Legislative Council, which is held up since November due to a tussle between Governor B S Koshyari and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

A Bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, however, made it clear that the State Governor is bound by the advice of the council of ministers and he has no discretion in this regard.

Clause 5 of the Article 171 of the Constitution has given mandate to the Governor that the nominees shall consist of "persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art, co-operative movement and social service," it was pointed out.

The petitioner said his limited grievance was that no norms have been laid down for making the nominations from the five prescribed categories.
His counsel Prachiti Deshpande told the court: "The political parties in governance are taking undue advantage of this loophole and nominating persons who are not from the prescribed categories, but who are either politically powerful or can be made powerful by way of such nominations".

The petitioner also sought specific directions for norms, so that political parties don’t enjoy this prerogative of making the nominations.
"We are sorry. We cannot pass any order. We are not here to advise the Governor," the Bench said rejecting the petition which wanted the Governor’s discretion in choosing people from the specified fields, instead of abiding by the recommendations of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) dispensation.

It rejected the plea that owing to the lack of specific norms or criteria, several eligible and deserving personalities are deprived from consideration for nomination to the legislative council. The petition had also sought that nominations be the sole discretion of the Governor without any influence by way of the recommendation of the Council of Ministers.

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