Mumbai: The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Sunil Deshmukh and Girish Kulkarni on Tuesday ordered the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit in response to a PIL that has highlighted the issue of the nomination of 12 members, recommended by the state cabinet to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for the legislative council, pending since November 2020.
The bench was seized with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed through advocate Gaurav Srivastav seeking a directive to the authorities to decide the recommendation expeditiously.
Srivastav through senior counsel Aspi Chinoy told the judges that the state's council of ministers had recommended names of 12 members to be nominated by Governor Koshyari as per the provisions of the Constitution of India. This recommendation, the advocate said, was made way back in November 2020 and is still pending before the Governor.
However, AGP Geeta Shastri cited a letter written by the Principal Secretary to the Governor asking Srivastav to make him as a respondent to his PIL and only then he would revert.
But Chinoy pointed out that the Constitution bars making either the Governor or his Principal Secretary and other officials from being made a respondent to any petition.
Meanwhile, the judges noted that last month when the matter was heard by another bench, a specific directive was issued to the state government to file its affidavit, however, the same wasn't filed.
Accordingly, the bench asked Shastri to file an affidavit on the next date of hearing, without fail, and granted the state the liberty to raise its contention of making the secretary as party to the PIL in its affidavit.
Matter to be heard on next Friday.