The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the swearing-in of Manohar Parrikar as Goa chief minister but ordered conducting of the floor test on 16 March.
The Congress party had approached the apex court to stay the ceremony but it declined to interfere with the Goa Governor's decision to appoint Manohar Parrikar as chief minister saying the Bharatiya Janata Party has shown the support of 21 out of the 40 newly elected MLAs.
A bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R K Agrawal directed the floor-test to determine the majority support, and said that all the formalities prerequisite to the floor test, including by the Election Commission, would be completed by 15 March.
In a special sitting as the apex court was on a Holi vacation, the bench requested Goa Governor Mridula Sinha to summon the House for the floor test for which the session will commence at 11 a m on 16 Marchand no other business other than holding the floor test will be conducted after the swearing-in of the members which will be completed as soon as possible.
The court direction came on a plea by leader of the Congress legislature party in the state assembly Chandrakant Kavlekar who sought stay of Governor Mridula Sinha's decision appointing Parrikar as chief minister. The court also rejected the plea by senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi for a composite floor test.
It also directed putting in place the senior most member in the Assembly as the protem speaker.
During the hearing, the bench pulled up the Congress party for not raising the issue of number of MLAs supporting it before the Governor and also rushing to the apex court without the affidavits of the elected members of the regional parties and independents that they are supporting the Congress which emerged as the single largest party in the 40-member House.
It was also furious that the Congress has not impleaded Parrikar as a party in the petition despite knowing what was happening for the last two days.