The Bombay High Court, on Monday, ordered the Maharashtra government to file a detailed affidavit spelling out its stand on the issue of nominating 12 members to the state legislative council. This comes after two social activists moved the HC challenging the nomination of these 12 members, names of whom are not yet made public.
A bench of Justices Kamalkishor Tated and Abhay Ahuja was dealing with two petitions filed by Shivaji Patil and Diliprao Agale - both social activists from Sangli and Kolhapur, respectively. The duo through advocate Satish Talekar challenged the decision of the state cabinet to nominate 12 members to the state legislative council. They have also urged the bench to issue directives to the government to make public the reasons, based on which, these 12 persons have been shortlisted.
Notably, the cabinet had on June 17 held a meeting, wherein the names of 12 persons were recommended to Governor Bhagatsingh Koshyari for their appointment as council members.
In their pleas, the duo have challenged the very provision that empowered the government to nominate members to the state council after every six years. "The law allows the government to nominate only those persons, who have done some social work in various fields be it science or arts. But no government till date has used this power properly and instead of nominating deserving persons, they end up recommending names of their own partymen," Talekar said,
"These partymen have minimal contribution and hardly do they actively participate in legislative debates. Thus, the provision is used by gross abuse of power by the governments," Talekar argued.
During the course of the hearing, government pleader Priyabhushan Kakade sought two weeks time to file the state's say in the matter. Having considered the submissions, the bench ordered the state government to clarify its stand on the issue by filing a detailed affidavit. The bench had kept the matter for further hearing on July 24, the day before which the government has been asked to file its say.