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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Shiv Sena Split: SC Adjourns the Matter to Monday

SC asks ECI to hold on the plea to recognise the rebel group

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: On Thursday, a division bench of the Supreme Court (SC) comprised of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli adjourned the case of the Shiv Sena split and the subsequent formation of the BJP-Shinde Government in Maharashtra to Monday, August 08.

The bench stated that the judgement on a bunch of petitions related to disqualification of rebel MLAs, the right over the bow-and-arrow symbol, etc., may be delivered based on written statements of the parties. If required, the matter will be referred to the constitutional bench.

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On July 20, the bench observed that the issues arising in the petitions filed about the Shiv Sena rift might have to be referred to a larger bench.

The bench also directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) not to rule on a request by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to recognise his group as the true Sena. Shinde had argued to the Supreme Court that he had a majority in the Assembly and that the court should not interfere with internal party decisions.

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Chief Justice NV Ramana asked Team Shinde whether it was ignoring the political party after being elected and whether it was not a danger to democracy.

Harish Salve, appearing for the Team Shinde, said that the Shinde camp was well within the party and that its action does not come under schedule X of the Constitution. Shinde now controls the party in the Assembly, with two-thirds of Sena MLAs supporting him. His group is the true Sena, and 15 MLAs (Thackeray faction) cannot call a group of 39 MLAs rebels.

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To this, senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for the Shiv Sena countered that if a basic plea of disqualification of 16 MLAs was submitted to the Maharashtra Assembly Deputy Speaker by the Shiv Sena legislature party leader is taken into consideration. The question of the Shinde camp having the backing of two-thirds Sena MLAs does not arise.

Team Thackeray told the Supreme Court that the ECI could not decide which group represents the Shiv Sena until there was clarity on the disqualification of rebel Sena MLAs who dethroned Uddhav Thackeray in a political operation that hopped from Gujarat to Assam to Goa in June. According to Team Thackeray, the Shinde group attempts to create an artificial majority in the organisation.

The political drama, which began after the Shinde group moved to Surat on June 20 and then to Guwahati, and eventually Shinde became the CM, remains inconclusive for over a month.

Uddhav Thackeray resigned on November 29 after the SC refused to stay; the Special Assembly Session convened on June 30 for a trust vote by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Shinde was sworn in as the CM on June 30. But Thackeray legally challenged several decisions by Team Shinde. They included appointing leaders and ‘whips’ who can issue binding orders to party MLAs and MPs.

Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for the Uddhav Thackeray group. Senior Advocates Harish Salve, Neeraj Kishan Kaul, and Mahesh Jethmalani appeared for the Shinde group. Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta appeared for the Maharashtra Governor.

Also Read: SC to Hear the Matter Regarding Shiv Sena Split on Wednesday

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  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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