The Supreme Court on Friday, Oct 16 refused to entertain a petition for the removal of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led government and the imposition of the Presiden's rule in the state.
A bench of the top court headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde junked the plea filed by Delhi residents Vikram Gehlot, Rishab Jain and Gautam Sharma and said, "You are at liberty to approach the President, don't come here."
The petition pleaded there is a "failure of Constitutional machinery" in Maharashtra
The petition pleaded that there is a "failure of Constitutional machinery" in Maharashtra where the government is run by an alliance of Thackeray's Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress. It had submitted that the state government machinery was being "misused" by political parties in power, not only to shield criminals but also to encourage criminal activity.
To support its claims, the petition had mentioned incidents like the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, threats to actor Kangana Ranaut and demolition of her office and attack on former Navy officer Madan Lal Sharma allegedly by Shiv Seva workers.
Ranaut has been critical of Maharashtra government of late and has even linked the state with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and is seen close to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Former Navy officer Madan Lal Sharma joined the BJP after the attack on him.
"The spirit of democracy, law and rule is that a State should act in a lawful manner to the benefit of common citizens and act as per law," the plea said.
"On the contrary, when the state machinery allows itself to be used as a band of persons throw law to the winds and take to oppressive activities at the instance of the ruling dispensation which shows and establishes a failure of the constitutional machinery and require imposing of President's rule in the state," the plea submitted.
Are you saying because some actor died, Constitution is not being followed in Maharashtra?
While dismissing the plea, the bench said, "You are saying because some Bollywood actor has died, the Constitution is not being followed in Maharashtra. Every incident you are talking about is from Mumbai, do you know how big Maharashtra is? We are not entertaining it. Dismiss."
The plea also submitted that due to the various acts of "police high-handedness" and other state machinery and "gangsterism" resorted to by the members of the ruling Shiv Sena party under the direct protection of state police has raised a situation of grave emergency where the security of the residents of Maharashtra has been threatened.
The plea had sought the court's directions to declare a state of emergency in Maharashtra and if not, in the city of Mumbai and neighbouring districts "as a grave threat to the security of citizens residing there has arisen due to direct conduct of present government".
BJP has launched a protest against the state government, demanding opening up of the temples and seeking permission to organise Ram Lila in the state which is worst hit by Covid-19 pandemic in India. BJP and Shiv Sena had contested the Maharashtra election in the alliance but fell out over berth sharing in the Cabinet. The Shiva Sena finally broke off ties with the BJP and formed a government with NCP and the Congress.