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Supreme Court lists pleas related to Uddhav, Shinde factions for directions on January 13

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The Supreme Court listed on Tuesday the two set of petitions filed by the rival factions of the erstwhile Shiv Sena, led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray respectively and related to the political crisis in the State of Maharashtra, to January 13 next year. 

The Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice P.S. Narasimha.noted that the matter could now be posted for directions in the month of January. Initially, the matter was listed for directions on November 29 this year.
Appearing for the Uddhav faction, Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat requested the hearing to be commenced at an earlier date.

The CJI, however, rejected the request, stating that the week starting from December 12 would be a miscellaneous week in the Supreme Court.

Stating that it would not be possible for five judges to sit in a Constitution Bench next week, the CJI posted the matter for January 13.

Earlier on September 27, the five-Judge Constitution Bench of the Apex Court, comprising Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice M.R. Shah, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice P.S. Narasimha, had dismissed the interim application filed by the Uddhav Thackeray faction, seeking stay on the Election Commission of India from deciding on the claim made by the Eknath Shinde for recognition as the official Shiv Sena party.

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The Constitution Bench was hearing a batch of petitions filed by the members of rival groups, challenging the various actions of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Governor in relation to political developments in Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena had split into two after rebel party leader Eknath Shinde, along with several MLAs, formed the government in Maharashtra with the help of BJP.

Shinde’s faction formed the  Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena, while the Uddhav Thackeray camp formed the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray). The two factions laid claim to the name and symbol of the erstwhile party. 

On October 8, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey decided to freeze both the name and the bow & arrow symbol of the 56-year-old party.

As per the Election Commission, neither of the two groups were permitted to either use the name of the party ‘Shiv Sena’ simplicitor; or the symbol ‘Bow & Arrow,’ reserved for ‘Shiv Sena’.

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The Commission further said that the groups were free to choose any names they desired in the interim, including names having linkage with their parent party ‘Shiv Sena’. It said the two groups would be allotted such different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols notified by the Election Commission for the purposes of the current by-elections.

The Uddhav Thackeray faction then moved the Delhi High Court against this decision of the Election Commission, which rejected the petition on November 15.

The Single-Judge High Court Bench of Justice Sanjeev Narula directed the Election Commission to decide on the proceedings related to the allotment of symbol and party name as soon as possible.

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