New Delhi, Nov 26 : Hours after the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday, newly sworn-in Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar both resigned, making the apex court ruling redundant.
As the political drama started on Saturday with the early morning swearing-in of Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, lawyers representing the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party rushed to the apex court, seeking a floor test within 24 hours to avoid any further horse-trading and illegal manoeuvres.
The apex court had conducted an urgent hearing on Sunday morning.
The opposition combine's petition sought quashing of the Maharasthra Governor's decision inviting Fadnavis to form the Government as unconstitutional, arbitrary, illegal, void-ab-initio, and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
The Centre, however, argued that Fadnavis has support of nearly 170 MLAs, and it is not horse-trading, "but the entire stable has gone to the other side".
Even the counsel for Fadnavis reckoned that he has support of requisite MLAs, and there is no urgent requirement for this hearing on this petition in the apex court.
The Centre had also submitted the two letters in the top court -- those of support of the NCP MLAs and the letter of the Governor inviting Fadnavis to stake claim for government formation.
The NCP, however, contested the latter of support that Ajit Pawar had furnished.
The Supreme Court, in its order on Tuesday, said there is a need and requirement for recognizing institutional comity and separation of powers so as to tailor judicial interference in the democratic processes only as a last resort.
"This case pertains to one such situation wherein this Court is called upon to adjudicate and maintain democratic values and facilitate the fostering of the citizens' right of good governance," said the bench headed by Justice N.V.
Ramana and laid down four conditions to conduct the floor test on November 27.
The court observed that is necessary and expedient to conduct the floor test as soon as possible to determine whether the Chief Minister, who was administered the oath of office, has the support of the majority or not.