Legality of Floor Test

Vote under a cloud

Print edition : March 17, 2017

Jagadambika Pal. The Supreme Court summoned a special session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on February 26, 1998, with the sole agenda of holding a composite floor test to see which of the two claimants to chief ministership, Jagdambika Pal and Kalyan Singh, had a majority. Photo: SUBIR ROY

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh. The Supreme Court summoned a special session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on February 26, 1998, with the sole agenda of holding a composite floor test to see which of the two claimants to chief ministership, Jagdambika Pal and Kalyan Singh, had a majority. Photo: V.V. KRISHNAN

The Supreme Court-directed session did not take place on March 11, 2005, as Shibu Soren resigned without facing the floor test. Arjun Munda, who was sworn in as Chief Minister, won the vote of confidence subsequently. Photo: PTI

Jitan Ram Manjhi demanded a secret ballot when he was asked by the Governor, Keshari Nath Tripathi, to seek a vote of confidence after Nitish Kumar staked his claim in 2015. Photo: RANJEET KUMAR

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Jitan Ram Manjhi demanded a secret ballot when he was asked by the Governor, Keshari Nath Tripathi, to seek a vote of confidence after Nitish Kumar staked his claim in 2015. Photo: RANJEET KUMAR

The voting on the confidence motion in the Uttarakhand Assembly took place on May 10, 2016, and Harish Rawat won the floor test. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

The power to choose the method of floor test lies with the Speaker. However, issues such as the confinement of AIADMK MLAs in the days prior to the floor test and the eviction of DMK members may justify judicial intervention.
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