SC dismisses plea seeking guidelines for Maharashtra Governor to nominate MLCs

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking a direction to the Governor of Maharashtra to frame criteria for the purpose of nomination to the Legislative Council of the State, in terms of Article 171 of the Constitution.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana told the counsel, Advocate Prachi Deshpande, that the Supreme Court could not prescribe guidelines to the Governor, and that they could not amend the provision in the Constitution itself.

The plea had been filed by a Head Master from Latur District in Maharashtra, Dr. Jagannath Shamrao Patil, stating that in the absence of specific normsseveral eligible and deserving personalities are often deprived from the nomination process.

The Petitioner sought to draw the Court’s attention towards clause 5 of Article 171 i.e. The members to be nominated by the Governor under sub clause (e) of clause (3) shall consist of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as the following, namely: Literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service

It was argued that there is no process in existence to verify that the persons who are recommended by the State Government possess such special knowledge or practical experience in the said subjects.

It was urged that the traditional practices followed by political parties in nomination of MLAs should cease and appointments should be made by way of “absolute discretion” of the Governor, as prescribed in the Constitution.

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