SC notice to Maharashtra CM Shinde, MLAs on Thackeray group plea against speaker's order
A bench comprising CJI D.Y. Chandrachud and justices Pardiwala and Misra has sought a response from Shinde and other MLAs in two weeks
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde and some other MLAS on a plea filed by the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena, challenging Maharashtra Legislative Assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar's order declaring the Shiv Sena bloc led by Shinde as the "real political party" after its split in June 2022.
A bench comprising Chief Justice D.Y. 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 had 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 Supreme Court is more equipped to handle the case.
The Thackeray faction has alleged that Shinde "unconstitutionally usurped power" and is heading an "unconstitutional government". In his order passed on 10 January, Narwekar had also rejected the Thackeray faction's plea to disqualify 16 MLAs of the ruling camp, including Shinde.
Challenging the orders passed by the speaker, the Thackeray faction has claimed they are "patently unlawful and perverse" and that instead of punishing the act of defection, they reward the defectors by holding that they comprise the political party.