Friday, August 19, 2022

Supreme Court issues notice on Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde’s plea against disqualification notices to 16 rebel MLAs

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The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Central government, Maharashtra Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu and Shiv Sena legislature party leader Anil Chaudhary on the petition filed by rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde and 15 rebel MLAs, challenging the disqualification notices issued to them last week by the Deputy Speaker.

The bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice J.B. Pardiwala was hearing Shinde’s petition seeking stay on the disqualification notice issued by the Deputy Speaker to 16 MLAs, which had summoned them today.

Devadatt Kamat, appearing for Maharashtra government, said the petitioners should have approached the High court instead of moving the Supreme Court directly.

During the court discussions:

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Maharashtra Government, said that Court will not record a statement made on behalf of the Speaker, as amounts to breach of division between judiciary and legislature.

Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat, also Maharashtra counsel, said no Court has ever granted a stay of disqualification process. The proceedings of the House will be interdicted.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta: May I say something.

Kamat: I don’t know how Solicitor General is interested in this. This is very strange.

Kamat refers to Para 6 of the Tenth Schedule to say that disqualification proceedings shall be deemed to be proceedings of the Assembly.

“Till a final order is passed, there is no question of judicial review and no question of interim order,” he says.

The Supreme Court kept in abeyance rebel Sena MLAs’ disqualification proceedings till July 12. It has asked the respondents to file their replies to rebel MLAs’ petitions, which challenged the competence of the Deputy Speaker to issue disqualification notices when their communication seeking his removal is pending. Shinde’s petition will be next taken up on July 11.

The petitioner’s advocate, Senior Advocate N.K. Kaul, contended that the Deputy Speaker cannot decide their disqualification since they had moved a resolution seeking his axing which is yet to be decided.

Maharashtra Government counsel Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the proceedings are pending with the Speaker and the Courts cannot muddy the waters by interfering with it.

Another MLA Bharat Gogawale has also moved court seeking the restrainment of the Deputy Speaker until the resolution for his removal is dispensed with.

Shinde’s petition sought quashing of the order passed by the Deputy Speaker, recognising Ajai Chaudhary as Shiv Sena Legislature Party leader.

Shinde alleged that the lives of rebel MLAs were under threat from Shiv Sena. It also recorded a statement from the counsel representing the Maharashtra government that no harm to life and properties of 39 rebel MLAs, including independents, and their families would be caused.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday stripped the nine rebel Ministers, who were currently in Guwahati, of their portfolios.

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