Bombay SC Dhankhar Rijiju
Supreme Court of India

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday raised serious concerns about the democratic process in India, saying that Governors must not use their constitutional office to call for a trust vote, which could precipitate the fall of a legitimately established and functioning government.

The five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, was referring to the Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s call for a trust vote on the floor of the House in 2022, which led to the fall of the Uddhav Thackeray government.

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The Bench questioned the Governor’s office’s version that there was a serious difference of opinion within the Shiv Sena party between the Eknath Shinde faction and the Thackeray camp.

Chief Justice Chandrachud said that while the Shinde camp had a remedy, the Governor cannot use his powers to precipitate the fall of an elected government.

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“This is very, very serious for our democracy,” he observed.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Governor’s office, said that a democratically elected leader should enjoy the confidence of the House during his entire tenure or it may slip into “complete tyranny”.

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