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Who will save the Constitution?

19 5 75
20.05.2018

Let me remind myself — before others remind me — of what I wrote on March 19, 2017. Elections had been concluded in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur. The BJP won in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the Congress won in Punjab. Referring to the other two states, I wrote: “In Goa and Manipur, the loser stole the election”.

I based my remark on the following:

“The party that secured the highest number of seats would be invited first to form the government… By that rule or convention, the Congress should have been invited to form the government in Goa (17/40 seats) and in Manipur (28/60).”

The controversy was around the principles to be followed by a governor in inviting a person to form the government. In the absence of a party that had secured an absolute majority, should the governor invite the single largest party or a post-poll alliance (that prima facie had the majority)?

The Last Statement of Law

The question had been examined in the past and there were observations in several judgments. Goa presented a concrete opportunity. In an order dated March 14, 2017, and made in Chandrakant Kavlekar vs Union of India, the Supreme Court observed:

“The (Goa) Assembly comprises of 40 elected members. The........

© The Financial Express