Supreme Court issues notice to Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena on Uddhav Thackeray faction’s petition

  • Thackeray faction also challenged the order of Maharashtra Speaker to recognise the Eknath Shinde faction as the 'real Shiv Sena' after its split in June 2022.

Livemint
Updated22 Jan 2024, 04:54 PM IST
The Supreme Court of India has sought a response from the Maharashtra chief minister and other MLAs in two weeks.
The Supreme Court of India has sought a response from the Maharashtra chief minister and other MLAs in two weeks.

The Supreme Court on January 22 issued notice to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other MLAs of his group on a petition filed by Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of Shiv Sena. The petition is challenging the order of Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narwekar on the dismissal of disqualification pleas against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde faction MLAs.

A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra took note of the submissions of senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the Thackeray faction, and sought a response from the chief minister and other MLAs in two weeks.

At the outset, the top court said the plea can be heard by the Bombay High Court as well. The senior lawyers for the Thackeray faction, however, opposed the idea and said the top court is more equipped to handle the case.

Thackeray faction also challenged the order of the Maharashtra Speaker to recognise the Eknath Shinde faction as the 'real Shiv Sena' after its split in June 2022.

The Speaker's decision came on January 10, nearly two years after Thackeray's camp moved disqualification petitions against Shinde and his supporting legislators under the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law) of the Constitution.

Approaching the apex court against Speaker Rahul Narwekar's decision to dismiss the disqualification petitions against Shinde and 38 "rebel" Shiv Sena legislators, the Thackeray faction said the decision was a "colourable" exercise of power based on "extraneous and irrelevant" considerations.

Earlier, the top court had asked the Speaker to decide expeditiously the disqualification petitions pending before him.

The disqualification petitions against the rebel MLAs were filed by Sunil Prabhu, the Shiv Sena party Whip appointed by Uddhav Thackeray, on June 23, 2022, after the MLAs revolted against Thackeray.

In May last year, a five-judge Constitution bench had held that it could not disqualify the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government and reinstate Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister because the latter had chosen to resign instead of facing a test of strength in the Assembly.

In August 2022, the top court's three-judge bench referred to a five-judge Constitution bench the issues involved in the petition filed by rival groups of Shiv Sena about the Maharashtra political crisis.

On June 29, 2022, the top court gave a go-ahead to the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on June 30. It had refused to stay the Maharashtra Governor's direction to the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to prove his majority support on the floor of the House on June 30.

After the apex court's order, Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation as the chief minister and Eknath Shinde was later sworn in as the chief minister.

*With Agency Inputs

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First Published:22 Jan 2024, 04:54 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaSupreme Court issues notice to Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena on Uddhav Thackeray faction’s petition

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