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HomeNewsIsn’t Maha speaker decision contrary to our verdict: SC

Isn’t Maha speaker decision contrary to our verdict: SC

NEW DELHI:

Supreme Court

on Thursday took the prima facie view that

Maharashtra speaker

Rahul Narwekar’s January 10 decision recognising the Eknath Shinde faction as the real Shiv Sena based on its legislative majority could be violative of the SC’s May 2023 judgment barring him from deciding the dispute based solely on the strength of group MLAs in the assembly.

Maharashtra Speaker acted in total breach of 2023 order, SC told
Senior advocates Devadatt Kamat, Kapil Sibal and A M Singhvi told a bench of CJI D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra that Narwekar acted in complete breach of the May 11, 2023 judgment in the Subhash Desai case where it had ruled that “speakers must not base their decision as to which group constitutes the political party on a blind appreciation of which group possesses a majority in the legislative assembly. This is not a game of numbers, but of something more”.
Sibal said Maharashtra assembly elections are due in October this year and the Shinde faction wants to delay the hearing on the petition filed by Sena (UBT) leader Sunil Prabhu as the Shinde faction has not yet filed its response to the petition despite the court issuing notice on Jan 22. “We need urgent hearing on the petition,” he said.

CJI Chandrachud said, “The speaker decides (which is the real Sena party) based on legislative strength of the factions. Is this not contrary to our judgment in the Subhash Desai case?”
Kamat said the speaker, while deciding disqualification petitions against Shinde and his faction MLAs moved by the Thackeray group, skirted around the crucial undisputed facts – Shinde staking claim and forming govt with help of BJP, all group MLAs belonging to Sena supported him and earned ministerial berths – which fall foul of the anti-defection Act under the 10th Schedule. Responding to the charges, senior advocate Harish Salve said the issue is not as simple as made out by the Thackeray faction which was found to have used fake documents by speaker. He said the party meeting summoned on June 21, 2022, as per evidence, did not pass any resolution contrary to the claim of Thackeray faction which has alleged that Shinde-led MLAs disobeyed a collective decision. “First one must explain the facts and then go to the law. On factual grounds, the Thackeray faction has no case,” he said.
Supporting him, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said SC has ruled that a petitioner must move high court first and not SC directly. “Why can’t the Thackeray faction move HC, where the Shinde faction has already filed a petition and is pending consideration?” he said. SC said the issue required detailed hearing and asked the Shinde faction to file its response latest by April 1, while posting the final hearing on April 11.