Jurist Fali S Nariman: Governor is under constitutional duty to invite single largest party first

Fali Nariman

New Delhi, March 15: Eminent Indian Constitutional jurist Fali S Nariman on Tuesday said that the Constitution and judicial precedents of India say that the Governor is obligated to call the leader of the single largest party first to form the government, reported Indian Express.

“My understanding of the law and the precedents (benches of nine and five judges respectively) is that the Governor of a state is under constitutional duty to first invite the leader of the single largest party to form the government,” said Nariman.

The statement from the senior jurist holds relevance as the entire country wants to understand if the charges of stealing Voters’ mandate on BJP by the Congress which emerged as the largest party in both Goa and Manipur hold constitutional ground or not.

Congress has alleged BJP to horse trade MLAs to form a government and breach the constitutional provision of letting the largest party prove its majority in the assembly.

In Goa Congress won 17 of the 40 seats, while the BJP could win only 13 seats but latter staked claim to form the government with the support of eight other legislators.

After Manohar Parrikar submitted a list of 21 MLAs in his support, Governor Mridula Sinha appointed him as the new Chief Minister of Goa and gave him 15 days to prove the majority.

Meanwhile Goa Congress leader Chandrakant Kavlekar said that he was neither called nor consulted by the Governor once on formation of new government despite hold being the leader of single largest party in the state.

When Indian Express enquired Nariman on the matter, he said the constitution doesn’t states about who rushed first.

“The Governor, according to me, is under a constitutional duty to first invite the leader of the single largest party in the state, whether or not he or she is the first to stake claim.”

He expressed his surprise on why the Supreme Court on Tuesday missed this point. He disagreed on Arun Jaitley’s reference that said Governor invited Parrikar as he had a support of 21 MLAs as against 17 MLAs of Congress. Nariman however, said that Consitution principles clearly say the single largest party should be called by Governor first.

Wefornews Bureau

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