INDIA. Mumbai: The Shiv Sena facing a split in the party, got a breather when the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday agreed to hear its plea to stay the hearing related to the claim over party title and election symbol scheduled before the Election Commission of India (ECI) on August 08.
The SC agreed to hear the matter on August 01, along with other petitions related to the disqualification of MLAs from both the Thackeray and the breakaway faction led by Eknath Shinde (now Maharashtra CM).
The breakaway faction had staked a claim on the party title and the election symbol before the ECI on the ground that the Maharashtra Governor administered the oath to Shinde and thus granted recognition to the group of 40 MLAs.
Besides, the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla recognized the group of 12 MPs and granted recognition to Rahul Shewale as a Floor leader in the Lok Sabha instead of Vinayak Raut of the Thackeray faction.
Whereas the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray) had filed a caveat saying that in case of any claim over the party title, the party should be heard by ECI before ruling.
In response to the claim and counterclaim over the party title, the ECI has fixed the hearing for August 8 and has asked both the parties to submit documentary evidence in support of their claims.
On Tuesday, Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing on behalf of the Thackeray group, mentioned the matter before the bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, saying. However, the related issues are pending before the top court.
The rebel camp is trying to make it infructuous by moving the ECI, adding that till the apex court decides on the matter, the other side cannot go before the ECI.
Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, counsel for the Shinde group, said that the issue before the ECI was an intra-party thing as to who represents the party and the symbol, and it has nothing to do with matters pending before the apex court.
When the CJI asked what the stage of proceedings was before the EC, Kaul replied that notice had been issued for August 08. The bench then posted the matter along with other petitions pending before it.
A petition was filed in the SC by the Shiv Sena Secretary Subhash Desai on Monday, saying the ECI cannot decide the matter since cases are pending before the Supreme Court.