Mumbai: Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court on Monday that it has submitted to the Governor, in November 2020, the names of 12 persons to be nominated to the post of Member of Legislative Council (MLC) but the Governor has not taken any decision on the same.
The affidavit was filed by Satish Waghole, Secretary, Parliamentary Affairs Department, Mantralaya, in reply to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a Nashik-resident Ratan Luth.
Luth’s PIL states that the Governor was in breach of his Constitutional obligation as he has till date not nominated persons to the post of MLC, some of these posts have been vacant since June 6, 2020.
Aspi Chinoy, Luth’s counsel, in formed the division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Monday that eight months has passed since the government submitted the list of 12 names to the Governor. He argued: “The petitioner is not on who should be appointed. We are only asking for a decision to be taken. Although the Governor is not open to judicial orders, his actions or inactions are open to judicial orders.”
The state government in its affidavit said that the power of the Governor to make these nominations does not fall in the category of the ‘discretionary powers’ conferred on the Governor. “The Governor has to exercise this power of nomination strictly in accordance with the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers,” the affidavit said.
“It has been specifically submitted in the said communication (the list submitted by government in November 2020) that in the larger public interest and from the point of view of healthy democracy as also the rich traditions that are meticulously observed in this regard, it was necessary to fill in these 12 vacant positions at the earliest,” the affidavit said.
It added that the Governor was requested to complete the process of nominating the 12 persons as MLCs at the earliest and at the most within 15 days.
“However, till date the Hon’ble Governor has not respected the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers and the Governor has not yet acted on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers,” the government said.
Besides, the government has not received any communication from the office of the Governor on this issue, added the affidavit. The HC has kept the PIL for further hearing on July 16.