SC Fixes November 29 to Hear Pleas Filed by Uddav, Eknath Shinde Groups

logsabha news

On November 1 Tuesday, the Supreme Court said it would hear on November 29 a batch of petitions filed by rival groups of Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, respectively, and are connected to the Maharashtra crisis.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud asked lawyers to complete the compilation of the case and formulate the salient issues for consideration within four weeks. “It has been agreed by the counsels of both the parties that they will meet and formulate the issues which arise for consideration and deciding the reference before the constitution bench. List the matter on November 29 for directions,” the bench stated.

The bench, also comprising Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha, said advocates Javed Ur Rehman and Chirag Shah from each side should act as nodal counsel, and they will carry out this exercise within a period of four weeks. Earlier on August 23, 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 a five-judge bench the plea filed by the factions, raised various constitutional questions relayed to defection, merger, and disqualification.

The top court had ordered the listing of petitions before the constitution bench. It also directed the Election Commission not to pass any orders on the Shinde faction’s plea that it be considered the real Shiv Sena and granted the party’s poll symbol.

Noting that the parties’ claims raise serious constitutional issues relating to the 10th schedule of the Constitution about disqualification, power of the Speaker and Governor, and judicial review, it decided to form a constitutional bench.

They had also challenged the newly appointed Maharashtra Assembly Speaker’s action recognizing the whip of the Eknath Shinde group as the whip of Shiv Sena. The plea said the newly appointed Speaker has no jurisdiction to recognize whips nominated by Shinde as Uddhav Thackeray is still the head of the Shiv Sena official party.

Shinde groups challenged the disqualification notices issued by the Deputy Speaker to 16 rebel MLAs, as well as the appointment of Ajay Choudhary as Shiv Sena Legislature Party leader, which is also pending before the apex court.

On June 29, the top court gave the go-ahead to the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on June 30. Refusing 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, the bench had issued notice on Prabhu’s plea against the floor test.

After the apex court’s order, Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation as the Chief Minister, and Eknath Shinde was later affirmed as the Chief Minister.


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