Dr. Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, J.
(1.)The Court convened through Video Conferencing. : - An imbroglio in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly over the purported resignations of twenty-two Members and several communications by the Governor to the Chief Minister to hold an immediate floor test have given rise to these writ petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution.
(2.)The first writ petition has been instituted by ten Members of the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly seeking a writ directing the Speaker, Chief Minister and Principal Secretary of the Legislative Assembly to hold a floor test in accordance with the directions issued by the Governor.[Prayer: Issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ or direction, directing respondent nos 1 to 3 to hold the floor test in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly within 12 hours of the passing of the order by this Hon'ble Court and as per directions dated 14.3.2020 and 15.3.2020 issued by the Hon'ble Governor of Madhya Pradesh.] The second writ petition has been instituted by the Madhya Pradesh Congress Legislature Party["MP Congress Party".] through its Chief Whip seeking diverse reliefs including:
(i) A direction to the Union of India and the State of Karnataka to grant access to the officer bearers of the MP Congress Party to communicate with respondents five to nineteen (the Members of the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly who have tendered their resignation);
(ii) A declaration that respondents five to nineteen are in the illegal confinement of the Union of India, the State of Karnataka and the Bharatiya Janata Party["BJP".];
(iii) A direction permitting and enabling respondents five to nineteen to participate in the ongoing Budget Session of the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly;
(iv) A direction that a trust vote should be held only in the presence of all the elected Members of the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly;
(v) A declaration that the communications of the Governor of Madhya Pradesh to the Chief Minister under Articles 174 and 175 of the Constitution of India are unconstitutional; and
(vi) A direction that if the twenty-two Members belonging to the Indian National Congress["INC".] have resigned, the trust vote be postponed until by-elections are held for the vacant seats.
The Facts leading up to the Writ Petitions
(3.)Elections for the fifteenth Legislative Assembly of the State of Madhya Pradesh were held on 28 November 2018. The results were declared on 11 December 2018. There are 230 seats in the Legislative Assembly. The party position upon the declaration of the results is indicated in the following tabulation:
The INC staked the claim to form the government together with the support of four independents Members, two Members of the Bahujan Samaj Party["BSP"] and one Member belonging to the Samajwadi Party["SP"]. The INC, having the support of 121 Members (114 + 4 + 2 + 1 = 121), formed the government. Mr. Kamal Nath who belongs to the INC was appointed Chief Minister. Two seats have fallen vacant from amongst the 109 seats held by the BJP. The current strength of the Legislative Assembly is 228 Members of which the BJP has 107 Members in the House.