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How Can Uddhav Thackeray Be Reinstated as CM when He Resigned Before Floor Test: SC



The Supreme Court wondered on Thursday as to how it can reinstate the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra when the chief minister had put in his papers even before facing the floor test, after the faction led by him pitched for setting aside the governor’s June 2022 order to the CM to take a floor test.

The Thackeray faction made vehement submissions before the court urging it to turn back the clock and restore the “status quo ante” (previously existing state of affairs) as it had done in 2016 when it reinstalled Nabam Tuki as the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh. Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, representing the Thackeray bloc, urged a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud to rescind governor B S Koshyari’s order for a floor test, a day after the apex court questioned his conduct in calling for a trust vote merely on the ground of differences between Shiv Sena MLAs.

The bench took note of the submissions of senior advocate AM Singhvi, also appearing for Uddhav Thackeray, and quipped “So, according to you, we do what? Reinstate you? But you resigned. That’s like the court being asked to reinstate a government which has resigned before the floor test.” The bench, also comprising Justice MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha, which reserved its verdict on cross petitions filed by Thackeray and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde factions, asked Singhvi, “How can the court reinstate the chief minister, who did not even face the floor test.” The top court heard the arguments advanced by the two sides and the governor, who was represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, over nine working days.


While a battery of eminent lawyers including Sibal, Singhvi, Davadutt Kamat and Amit Anand Tiwari appeared for the Thackeray group, senior advocates N K Kaul, Mahesh Jethmalani and Maninder Singh represented the Shinde faction. During the day-long hearing, Singhvi referred to the sequence of events before the Thackeray government resigned and said, “My resignation is irrelevant. Your lordships are not reinstating anyone but restoring the status quo ante.” He referred to the 2016 Nabam Rebia judgement by which the top court had turned the political clock back in Arunachal Pradesh by reinstalling Tuki as the chief minister of the state and unseated the BJP supported Kalikho Pul government.

Singhvi said, “The resignation of the ex-CM on June 29, 2022 would be irrelevant… as once the illegal act of the governor is allowed to be implemented, the result of the trust vote was a known and foregone conclusion, and factually there was no need for the ex-CM to subject himself to it.” He submitted the crux of the issue raised by Thackeray remains that the direction to hold the trust vote was an “illegal act” because the governor did so by recognising a faction of 34 legislators.

“The ex-CM’s participation or absence of participation would not dilute that fundamental and basic illegality in any manner,” he said.

The CJI told Singhvi, “No, but status quo ante would have been a logical thing to do provided that you had lost the trust vote on the floor of the house. Because, then clearly you have been ousted from power based on the trust vote, which could be set aside. Look at the intellectual conundrum….You chose not to face the trust vote.” Terming the development a “red herring”, the senior lawyer said prior to the governor ordering the floor test, the matter was sub-judice in the top court.


“So, you are saying that Thackeray resigned only because he was called upon by the governor to face the floor test?” the court asked.

Singhvi replied in the affirmative and said as the matter was sub-judice, the subsequent direction of the governor for the floor test should not have been allowed.

“You are frankly accepting the fact that you resigned because the trust vote would have gone against you,” the CJI quipped.

As the court sat for the hearing, the Thackeray faction made an impassioned plea for setting aside Koshyari’s order to Thackeray to take a floor test, asserting democracy will be in danger if it is not overturned.

Sibal, representing the Thackeray bloc, urged the bench to rescind the order, a day after the apex court said such action by the governor can topple an elected government and that the governor of a state cannot lend his office to effectuate a particular result.


Concluding his rejoinder arguments, Sibal said, it’s a moment in the history of this court when the future of democracy will be determined.

“I am absolutely certain that without the intervention of this court our democracy will be in danger because no elected government will be allowed to survive. It is with this hope I make this plea to this court to allow this petition and set aside the order (of floor test) of the governor,” Sibal said.

Sibal said if Sena MLAs had lost their faith in the government, they could have voted against it in the House when a money bill was moved and reduced it to minority.

“It is not that the government cannot run in minority. Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao ran a minority government. There is no scope for the governor to recognise those (rebel) MLAs and call for the floor test. Here, what they want is to topple the government and become chief minister and deputy CMs and use the position of governor for that. I don’t want to say more, everything is in the public domain,” Sibal said.


“I have my political experience and lordships have their judicial experience, which is enough to understand this. I can say we have reduced ourselves to a level that we are mocked. People don’t believe us anymore,” Sibal said, making a fervent pitch for setting aside the governor’s order for a floor test.

Governors can only deal with alliances and political parties and not individuals, otherwise it will “create havoc”, the senior lawyer asserted.

“Now, if all of Shiv Sena had gone to the BJP, would the governor still have called for floor test. That’s the ‘Aaya Ram-Gaya Ram’ principle which we gave up long ago. It’s disastrous for democracy…the legislator has no identity other than being a representative of the political party,” Sibal said.

“When we enter this court we are in a different aura, we come with hope, expectations. If you look at the history of civilizations, all injustices are based on power. You (top court) are the hope of 1.4 billion people and you cannot let democracy be destabilised in this callous, uncouth fashion,” he said.

During the hearing, Sibal also referred to Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi.


“There have been occasions like the ADM Jabalpur (1976 verdict) which is in dissonance with what this court has done over years. This is an equally significant case for our democracy to survive,” Sibal said.

The controversial 1976 judgment, delivered by P N Bhagwati during Emergency that was in force from June 25, 1975 to March 21 1977, held that a person’s right to not be unlawfully detained (habeas corpus) can be suspended in the interest of the State.

A political crisis had erupted in Maharashtra after an open revolt in the Shiv Sena, and on June 29, 2022, the apex court refused to stay the Maharashtra governor’s direction to the 31-month-old MVA government to take a floor test in the assembly to prove its majority.

Sensing impending defeat, Uddhav Thackeray had resigned, paving the way for Eknath Shinde to become the chief minister.

In another blow to the Thackeray bloc, the Election Commission declared the Shinde faction as the real Shiv Sena on February 17, 2023 and allotted to it the original bow and arrow election symbol of the party founded by Balasaheb Thackeray.


On August 23, 2022, a three-judge bench of the top court headed by then chief justice N V Ramana had formulated several questions of law and referred to the five-judge bench petitions filed by the two Sena factions which raised several constitutional questions related to defection, merger and disqualification.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)


HC reserves orders on plea by OPS and his supporters against July 11 AIADMK general council resolutions




The Madras High Court on Wednesday reserved orders on interim applications taken out by expelled AIADMK leaders O. Panneerselvam, P.H. Manoj Pandian, R. Vaithilingam and J.C.D. Prabhakhar to restrain the party from giving effect to the resolutions passed by the general council on July 11, 2022 with regard to their expulsion and other issues.

Justice K. Kumaresh Babu deferred his decision after holding a special sitting on Wednesday, a holiday for the High Court in view of Telugu New Year, to hear marathon arguments advanced by Senior Counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan, Vijay Narayan, Guru Krishnakumar, C. Manishankar, Abdul Saleem and A.K. Sriram for about seven hours.

Mr. Panneerselvam was the last to approach the court, challenging the resolutions as well as the consequent election to the post of general secretary. His civil suit and the interim applications were listed for admission only on Wednesday, and Senior Counsel Krishnakumar argued at length, stressing the need for an interim injunction.

Identifying himself as the coordinator and treasurer of the party, Mr. Panneerselvam wanted the court to stay the operation of a special resolution through which he was expelled from the party, and other resolutions on abolishing the posts of Coordinator and Joint Coordinator and reviving the post of general secretary.


The other plaintiffs, too, had made similar prayers. The Senior Counsel argued that Mr. Panneerselvam was a pre-eminent leader who had played a stellar role in the party for decades, and he could not be chucked out without any notice and opportunity of a hearing. “This is an extremely arbitrary, unreasonable and unconscionable decision,” he said.

Noting that he was elected by primary members as coordinator of the party for five years in 2021, the counsel said the plaintiff’s civil right to continue in the post till 2026 had been affected by the resolutions. “The general council does not have the carte blanche to do anything it wants. They can’t do anything just by claiming majority,” he argued.

Mr. Saleem, representing Mr. Pandian, said the court should not look into the counter-affidavit filed by Edappadi K. Palaniswami in his capacity as interim general secretary, “since such post does not exist. When there is no counter, it must be construed that the grounds raised by me have not been refuted, and hence, injunction must be granted”.

Mr. Manishankar, appearing for Mr. Vaithilingam, said the party’s bylaws did not contain any provision to expel the coordinator. If Mr. Palaniswami was not willing to continue in the position of joint coordinator, then the only way out for the party was to appoint some other individual as joint coordinator and then take decisions, he added.

Appearing for Mr. Prabhakar, Mr. Sriram said his client’s right to be a member of the party had ben taken away in a wrongful way. Stating that he had been expelled from primary membership without even a pretence of an inquiry, the Senior Counsel argued that the balance of convenience was in favour of granting the injunction.


In his submissions on behalf of the AIADMK and Mr. Palaniswami, Mr. Vaidyanathan said Mr. Panneerselvam, too, had gone about issuing statements expelling Mr. Palaniswami and the latter’s supporters from the party.

“I have not heard a speck of an argument on how irreparable prejudice will be caused to the plaintiff if an interim injunction is not granted. This is a classic case of rule-breakers throwing the rule book before the court to throttle the voice of an overwhelming majority of general council members,” he said.

The Senior Counsel said Mr. Panneerselvam had expelled his brother O. Raja from the party without any notice and inquiry. “If somebody is under an illusion that he is a pre-eminent leader, let him establish it by approaching the people or the Election Commission, not in the court,” he said.

Mr. Narayan, representing the general council, said the council was the supreme body of the party, and it had been bestowed with the powers to take any decision concerning the party. Since it was the wish of the founder that the general secretary must be elected by primary members, appropriate resolutions had been passed, he said.

On the other hand, it was Mr. Panneerselvam who got elected as party coordinator not by the primary members, but by the general council in 2017, he said. He also wondered what was so onerous or illegal about the insistence that the names of those contesting the post of general secretary must be proposed by 10 district secretaries and seconded by 10 others.


Such a condition had been incorporated to avoid the filing of frivolous nominations, he said. After completion of arguments, the judge intended to deliver orders on Friday. However, the Senior Counsel for Mr. Panneerselvam obtained time till Friday for submitting his written arguments.

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S M Krishna, Kumar Mangalam Birla among those given Padma awards




Former Karnataka chief minister S M Krishna, noted industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and famous playback singer Suman Kalyanpur were given Padma awards by President Droupadi Murmu at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday.

IMAGE: President Droupadi Murmu confers the Padma Vibhushan to S M Krishna for Public Affairs at Civil Investiture Ceremony-I, Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photograph: Amlan Paliwal/ANI Photo

Besides them, billionaire stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, who had passed away last year, was given the Padma Shri posthumously.


Krishna, a former external affairs minister, who is ‘known for his statesman-like vision and administrative acumen during a career spanning more than six decades’, was given the Padma Vibhushan, the Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted.


He was an external affairs minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government but had later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Noted architect Balkrishna Doshi (posthumously) was also given Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian honour.

Doshi, known for using minimalistic, simple and eco-friendly approach to architecture, designed many iconic structures.


Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, was given the Padma Bhushan.

One of the first Indian groups to venture abroad, it has acquired widespread global presence, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in another tweet.

Delhi-based professor Kapil Kapoor, spiritual leader Kamlesh D Patel and Kalyanpur were conferred Padma Bhushan, the country’s third highest civilian award.

A former Professor of English at JNU, Kapoor is known for striving to indigenise higher education by integrating Indian knowledge systems and establishing dedicated institutes, it said.

Patel is the founder of the Heartfulness Movement, and has developed Kanha Shanti Vanam, which is home to one of the world’s largest meditation centre.


IMAGE: The President confers the Padma Bhushan award to Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla for Trade and Industry. Photograph: ANI Photo

In another tweet, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said Kalyanpur, a renowned Indian playback singer lent her voice to innumerable hit songs in Hindi, Marathi and 11 other languages during a career spanning four decades.

The Narendra Modi government has been honouring many unsung heroes who have been contributing to society in different ways with Padma awards since 2014 when it came to power for the first time.

Jodhaiya Bai Baiga, a prominent artist of Baiga painting, Usha Barle, performer of Pandwani and Panthi art forms of Chhattisgarh, and Raman Cheruvayal, a tribal farmer from Kerala who is known for his contribution to sustainable agriculture and preservation of biodiversity, were given the Padma Shri.

Bhanubhai Chunilal Chitara, who has helped in preserving and promoting the traditional Mata Ni Pachedi craft of Gujarat, and Sankurathri Chandrasekhar, a managing trustee of Sankurathri Foundation which has educated a large number of rural students, provided eye-care to over 37 lakh people and performed over 3 lakh surgeries), were also awarded the Padma Shri.


The ceremony was attended by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla as well as Home Minister Amit Shah and several other Union ministers.

The president had approved conferment of 106 Padma awards, including three duo cases (in a duo case, the award is counted as one), on the eve of this year’s Republic Day.

Of these, over 50 people were awarded — Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri — on Wednesday. Rest of the awardees would be conferred the honour in another ceremony later.

Padma awards are conferred in three categories — Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

India’s top civilian award Bharat Ratna has not been given to anyone since 2019.


The awards are given in various disciplines and fields of activities vis-a-vis art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.

Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order; and Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field.

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Shah Rukh Khan as Rambo, Akshay Kumar as Indiana Jones, Anupam Kher as Yoda; AI Gives New Looks to Bollywood Stars




Last Updated: March 22, 2023, 22:10 IST

Bollywood stars reimagined as Hollywood characters

AI reimagined Bollywood actors as Hollywood’s famous movie characters and the results are impressive.

Artificial intelligence is changing the way we think and work. Recently, an AI design program reimagined Bollywood actors as Hollywood stars and we are stunned by the results. Design studio Lazy Eight took to their official Twitter handle to share the photos of the Bollywood stars. They imagined Shah Rukh Khan as John Rambo from Rambo and it almost looks convincing! Then, they turned Ajay Devgn into Maximus Decimus Meridius from Gladiator and we can’t say that the actor is looking bad in his new avatar.

Following this was Kunal Kemmu from the Joker from The Dark Knight and we were impressed by how that turned out. Kunal was followed by Vir Das as Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit and it looked hilarious. Next up was Akshay Kumar as Indiana Jones from the Raiders of the Lost Ark and Anupam Kher as Yoda from Star Wars.


Sharing the photos, they wrote, “As a fun, light lab experiment we wanted to test the power of the new Midjourney V5 by reimagining Bollywood actors as iconic Hollywood characters. Enjoy and Happy Friday!”

Take a look:

Netizens had varied reactions to these photos. Commenting on Rambo SRK’s photo, one user wrote, “The srk one looks like Elon musk” while another user wrote, “Srk looks like Elon Musk on steroids 😂” Commenting on Ajay Devgn’s photo, one user wrote, “This one is decent. The others are mostly bad, either they don’t fit the scene or don’t look like the actor.”

One of the best comments was seen on Anupam Kher’s photo. Speaking in Yoda’s style, a netizen wrote, “Anupam Kher this is not. This is not Anupam Kher. Too cherubic it is. It is too cherubic and cute to be Kher. Jokes apart. SRK’s Rambo the best.”

What are your thoughts on these photos?

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