Maha MLC nominations: HC reserves order on plea on Guv's delay

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Mumbai, Jul 19 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Monday said the governor has a Constitutional duty to either accept or not accept the proposal sent by the chief minister nominating persons to the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC), adding there was no escape from this duty.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni asked that if a proposal has been forwarded by the chief minister with the aid and advice of the state council of ministers for nomination of persons to MLC posts, then was it not the duty of the governor to take a decision.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Nashik-resident Ratan Soli Luth seeking a direction to the governor to decide on the 12 names recommended for MLC posts by the Maharashtra government in November last year.

The HC, after hearing the petitioner, the state government and the Centre, reserved its order.

The bench, on Monday, sought to know from Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the Union government, if the governor had a duty to act and speak.

'The proposal has been sent and is pending since November, 2020. The governor may or may not accept it but does the governor not have a duty to speak or act? Is there any time provision in the Constitution that says that the governor may not act at all,” Chief Justice Datta said.

The HC bench said when there was a duty cast upon the governor under the Constitution to nominate persons to the post of MLCs on the aid and advice of the council of ministers, then it was the governor's duty to accept the proposal or not.

“Once a proposal is sent, then it is the duty of the governor to accept it or send it back. Can the governor keep the seats (of MLCs) vacant?” the court said. PTI SP BNM BNM BNM

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