The Supreme Court today directed that a floor test be held in Goa Assembly at 11 am on March 16. It also refused to stay the oath-taking ceremony of Manohar Parrikar as Chief Minister of Goa..The direction was given by a Bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and RK Agarwal in a petition filed by Congress leader Chandrakant Kevalkar challenging the decision of the Goa Governor inviting BJP to form government in Goa..The bench was specially constituted during the court holidays for Holi to hear the petition by the Congress leader..Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for Chandrakant Kevalkar while Senior Advocate Harish Salve represented BJP. Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh appeared for the Central Government..Singhvi contended that the Governor of Goa did not fulfill the “satisfaction criteria” in the appointment of the Chief Minister. Singhvi argued that the Governor was legally and Constitutionally bound to conduct a process of consultation with the Congress party after it emerged as the single largest party in the recent elections in the state..Singhvi further contended that it was not in the discretion of the Governor to reach a decision of appointment without initiating a consultation process. An agitated Singhvi told the bench,.“What was the urgency to do this? In one day, the Chief Minister was appointed without telephoning me, consulting me or giving me any kind of opportunity to be heard. How can the satisfaction be fulfilled like this? This is a case of zero satisfaction!”.He further stated that,.“Your lordships have held that the mandate of the people is part of the democracy and democracy is the basic structure of the Constitution. The mandate of the people cannot be nullified by the government.”.Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar, however, told Singhvi that he could have.“demolished the opponent’s case in thirty-seconds by showing one person who was not in support of them. Even according to the CPC, if there is a specific pleading, you must specifically deny it. You haven’t denied anything before us. There is nothing on record to show that they don’t have the support or the numbers. You haven’t approached the Governor. You haven’t even impleaded Mr. Parrikar.”.Justice Khehar further told Singhvi that if he was in his place, he would have resorted to a dharna by taking twenty-one people along with him and showing the Governor – ‘here are the numbers in my support’..The bench also told Singhvi and Harish Salve that if they were both “sincere”, they could suggest a common name for the protem speaker since the floor test cannot be done unless the house is constituted..Both, Singhvi and Salve agreed that the senior-most member of the house ought to be appointed as the protem speaker..The Court disposed of the petition and in its order stated,.“We were satisfied, that the instant sensitive and contentious issue raised on behalf of the petitioner, can be resolved by a simple direction, requiring the holding of a floor test at the earliest. The holding of the floor test would remove all possible ambiguities, and would result in giving the democratic process, the required credibility. . We therefore hereby direct, that all pre-requisite formalities for holding a floor test, including the formalities required to be completed by the Election Commission, be completed by 15.03.2017. .We request the Governor of the State of Goa to ensure, that a floor test is held on 16.03.2017, and the only agenda for the day would be, the holding of a floor test to determine whether the Chief Minister administered the oath of office, has the support of the majority. The floor test shall be held on 16.03.2017, as early as possible, but surely during the course of the same day.”.The bench also observed in the order,.“It is not a matter of dispute, that the result of the electoral process in the State of Goa was declared on 11.03.2017. The said assembly comprises of 40 elected members. The party having the support of at least 21 elected members, would obviously have majority..Annexure B [letter dated 12.03.2017 addressed by the Governor to Shri Parrikar] reveals that besides the 13 elected members from the BJP Legislative Party, 3 members from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Goa and another 3 members from the Goa Forward Party have expressed their support to the BJP Legislature Party. .Besides the above, two elected independent members, have also been mentioned in the letter of the Governor as having expressed their allegiance to the BJP Legislature Party. It is therefore, that the BJP Legislature Party is shown to have the support of 21 MLAs.” .Read the full order here.