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Accusing Maharashtra Speaker of bias, Uddhav faction moves SC for speedy adjudication of disqualification

Uddhav Thackeray faction has moved Supreme Court seeking direction to the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker to adjudicate the disqualification petitions filed against Eknath Shinde and other Shiv Sena MLAs.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick New Delhi Published on: July 04, 2023 18:00 IST
Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena, Supreme Court
Image Source : PTI Uddhav Thackeray faction moves SC

Plea in SC against Shinde faction: Shiv Sena (UBT) has moved the Supreme Court seeking direction to Maharashtra Assembly Speaker to adjudicate the disqualification petitions filed against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other Sena MLAs, in a time-bound manner.

Shinde and MLAs backing him had rebelled and joined hands with the BJP to topple the existing MVA government and form their own in June 2022.

The plea was filed by Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MLA Sunil Prabhu, who in 2022 had filed the disqualification petitions against Shinde and other MLAs. Prabhu alleged that Speaker Rahul Narwekar is delaying the adjudication deliberately in spite of the May 11 verdict of the top court.

"The petitioner is constrained to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, in light of the respondent Speaker's conduct in choosing to deliberately delay the adjudication of the disqualification petitions filed by the Petitioner against the delinquent members of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly," the plea filed through advocate Nishanth Patil and Amit Anand Tiwari said.

The plea added that the Speaker chose not to conduct a hearing despite the categorical direction of the Supreme court in its judgment that the pending disqualification petitions must be decided within a reasonable period.

"The petitioner has also sent more than three subsequent representations dated May 15, 2023, May 23, 2023, and June 2, 2023, to convene a hearing in the said disqualification matters, however, the respondent Speaker in brazen disregard to his constitutional duties as a neutral arbiter, has sought to delay the adjudications of the disqualification petitions, thereby, permitting the illegal continuance of Eknath Shinde as Chief Minister, against whom the disqualification petitions are pending," it said.

Prabhu seeks direction from Court

Prabhu, in his petition said, "Therefore, it is imperative for this court to direct the Speaker, Maharashtra legislative assembly, to decide the disqualification petitions filed by the petitioner against delinquent members of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly expeditiously, within a time-bound manner."

He also sought a direction to the Speaker to decide the disqualification petitions dated June 23, 2022, June 25, 2022, June 27, 2022, July 3, 2022, and July 5, 2022 filed by him under provisions of the 10th schedule against the MLAs.

"The constitutional requirement of fairness enjoins upon the Speaker the obligation to decide the question of disqualification in an expeditious manner. Any unreasonable delay on the part of the Speaker in deciding the petitions for disqualification contributes to and perpetuates the constitutional sin of defection committed by the delinquent members," the petition said.

Refusing to disqualify the 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs including Shinde, the bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud had said the court cannot ordinarily adjudicate disqualification petitions under the anti-defection law, and directed Speaker Rahul Narwekar to take a decision on the pending matter within a ‘reasonable period’.

(With PTI inputs)

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