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Uddhav Thackeray camp files plea in Supreme Court against EC proceedings on recognition of Eknath Shinde faction as real Shiv Sena

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A writ petition was filed in the Supreme Court by Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena seeking a direction to stay the proceedings initiated by the Election Commission of India on a request made by the Eknath Sinde-led faction for recognition as the “real” Shiv Sena and their claim over the party’s election symbol, the bow and arrow.

Filed by Subhash Desai, General Secretary of Shiv Sena, the application sought impleadment of the Election Commission of India (ECI) as a necessary party in the writ petition, which, inter alia, challenges the decision of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari to invite Shinde to be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

As per the application, even though the Court was assured by the Counsel appearing for the Speaker on July 20 that no further proceedings will be conducted in the matter of disqualification under the Tenth Schedule, the Shinde-faction has initiated proceedings under the Election Symbols (Reservations and Allotment) Order, 1968, seeking EC recognition as the ‘real Shiv Sena’.

The Uddhav Thackeray faction also claimed the right to use the election symbol allotted to the Shiv Sena. On July 20, 2022, the Uddhav-led faction requested the ECI not to proceed with the matter, citing similar issues pending before the Apex Court.

The petition contended that the Commission ought not to move ahead with the proceedings, especially when the status of the persons claiming the election symbol was yet to be determined by the Court.

A notice was served to the Uddhav-led faction on July 20, wherein the Commission had stated that Shinde and some other persons sought to be recognised as the “real Shiv Sena,” claiming their right over the election symbol.

As per the writ petition, the Election Commission had initiated proceedings in complete disregard of the sanctity of the status quo order of the Apex Court, as well as the Constitutional role expected of the Commission.

It contended that if the ECI proceeded further it would cause irreparable injury as the status of the persons before the Commission was pending determination. The petition further urged that Shinde-faction cannot be considered as MLAs of Shiv Sena and their claim and affidavits cannot be relied upon.

The EC proceedings would interfere with the inquiry sub-judice before the Court and thus, amount to contempt of court, noted the plea.

As per the plea by Uddhav camp, it appears that the Shinde-faction has called for a meeting of the National Executive Committee to Shiv Sena without giving any notice to all members of the Committee, which was duly constituted after the 2018 organisational elections.

In acts of desperation and to somehow portray majority, the Shinde camp were trying to illegally cobble up numbers and fabricate an artificial majority in the organisation, the writ petition alleged.

It further submitted that the private respondents have been indulging in several illegal activities, contrary to the Constitution of the Shiv Sena.

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