Supreme Court to Hear Uddhav Thackeray Faction’s Challenge to EC’s Decision

Supreme Court to Hear Uddhav Thackeray Faction's Challenge to EC’s Decision

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a petition filed by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The petition challenges the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision to recognize the Eknath Shinde-led faction of the Shiv Sena and allot its name and symbol to it.

Kapil Sibal, a senior lawyer, urged the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud to hear his plea on Wednesday morning. He warned that without a stay on the Enforcement Directorate’s order, his client would suffer further disqualification as their bank accounts and office have already been seized. The bench agreed to take up the plea at 3:30 pm that day.

The court declared that it would begin hearing the petitions filed by the Shinde and Thackeray camps concerning the political fallout from last year on Tuesday. It then decided it would not disturb this bench and would instead hear the fresh plea on Wednesday afternoon. The Chief Justice of India added that the judges had not read the file and would like to look at it before taking up the hearing.

In his petition, Thackeray argued that the EC should not have used the legislative majority criterion to disqualify Shinde’s camp because the proceedings against Shinde’s supporters are still ongoing. He pointed out that if they were disqualified, the Shinde faction would no longer have a majority in the legislature.

Uddhav Thackeray said the legislative majority alone is insufficient to decide on a petition under para 15 of the Symbols Order; some members may lose their membership in a conflict situation.

Thackeray refuted the EC’s assessment that the party constitution was “undemocratic.” He asserted that no argument against the validity of the amended constitution was made until the case was brought before the court, which marked the first time an issue was raised concerning it.

Shinde stated that since no challenge was posed, he never had the chance to refute it. He further mentioned that, in 2018, he was appointed as the deputy leader of Shiv Sena under the newly updated party constitution. He also remarked that, after taking advantage of the new system for four years, he cannot now turn back and question the constitution.


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