Floor test issue finally lands in court
Dimapur, July 14 (EMN): The current crisis faced by the government led by Chief Minister Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu took a new turn on Friday when the matter regarding whether the Governor can direct the chief minister to prove his majority in the floor of the House was taken to court by the chief minister.
A petition was filed by the chief minister in the Kohima Bench of the Gauhati Court on Friday that the court may suspend the letters from the Governor on July 11, and July 13 asking the chief minister to prove his majority in the floor of the Assembly. The chief minister has repeated his current stand on the crisis even to the court stating that it is just an internal matter of the party and the letter written by TR Zeliang claiming support by the NPF and Independents MLAs need to be discussed only at an official meeting of the NPF Legislature party and not on the floor of the assembly.
The petition has also contested that the DAN coalition is intact and none of the party has written any letter withdrawing support to the government and that the Governor’s conclusion that the ministry has been reduced to a minority is incorrect.
The Judge LS Jamir, after the preliminary hearing today have passed an interim order staying the letter of the Governor till July 17, when the matter will be heard again.
Meanwhile, the Council of Ministers led by the Chief Minister called on the Governor in the afternoon where the latter told the Chief Minister to bring about a reconciliation amongst the legislators, stated a press release from the Chief Minister’s office.
“Kuzholuzo Nienu, newly elected Chairman of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland Coordination Committee, emphatically told the Governor that the DAN coalition is intact and that the present crisis is only within the NPF party,” it stated.
The press release also stated that in the petition before the Kohima Bench of the Guwahati High Court, it argued that the decision of the Governor asking the Chief Minister to conduct a floor test on or before July 15 was “ex facie unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary and violative of the basic features of the Constitution.”
“Pointing out that the process of bye elections (in which the petitioner is seeking to be elected) is already under process and that it was imperative and incumbent upon the Hon’ble Governor to call upon the Petitioner to prove its majority on the floor of the House only pursuant to the by-elections wherein the Petitioner is a candidate.
The Hon’ble Governor by the impugned decision has virtually sought to strangulate the will of the Council of Ministers and have used the office of the Governor to suit his political needs.
There is no recommendation from the Council of Ministers to the Hon’ble Governor and the Hon’ble Governor on his own volition chose to impose the impugned decision upon the Petitioner without any legal foundation and against constitutional norms.
The Hon’ble Governor, without affording an opportunity to the Petitioner for a free and fair election for his candidature, has hastily proceeded to reject the request made by the Petitioner herein to pre-empt the already scheduled elections,” it stated.
The press release from the CMO also stated that the decision of the Hon’ble Governor is, “completely tainted with arbitrariness, malafide, partisanship and has been taken in an extremely hasty manner on 13.07.2017 to pre-empt any staking of claim” by the chief minister and that “it is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.”
“The Hon’ble Governor has taken the impugned decision without any application of mind. It is submitted that the impugned order, which seeks to direct the Petitioner to convene an emergent meeting is perverse,” it further stated.