New Delhi, September 27
The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Election Commission to go ahead with the hearing of Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde group’s plea seeking recognition as the “real” Shiv Sena and allocation of the party’s “bow-and-arrow” poll symbol to it.
Setback for Uddhav
- SC rejects Uddhav faction’s plea seeking to restrain EC from deciding claim over ‘original’ Shiv Sena
- Accepts contention that EC’s powers are independent of powers of Speaker under anti-defection law
Justice DY Chandrachud, heading a five-Judge Constitution Bench, rejected the plea of the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction seeking to restrain the EC from deciding the state’s ruling Shinde camp’s claim over the “original” Shiv Sena.
“We direct there shall be no stay on proceedings before the Election Commission. Interim application seeking stay stands dismissed,” said the Bench, which also included Justice MR Shah, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice PS Narasimha.
It accepted the contention of the EC and Shinde camp that the EC’s powers under the Election Symbols Order were independent of the powers of the Speaker under the anti-defection law.
The top court turned down the Thackeray camp’s plea seeking a stay on the EC’s proceedings till the issue of disqualification of MLAs belonging to Shinde camp was decided by the top court.
The Bench on Tuesday commenced hearing on the constitutional issues arising out of petitions filed by the rival Shiv Sena groups, including split, merger of a political party, defection, disqualification of MLAs in relation to the recent political crisis in Maharashtra, leading to the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
The petitions also included the Uddhav faction’s plea challenging the appointment of Shinde as the CM of Maharashtra. It has questioned the constitutionality of Governor BS Koshyari’s June 30 decision to invite the Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the BJP to form a coalition government in Maharashtra.
The Uddhav faction has also challenged the validity of the July 3 and 4 Maharashtra Assembly proceedings in which BJP legislator Rahul Narveker was elected as the new Speaker with the support of the rebel faction of Shiv Sena and then Shinde went on to prove his government’s majority on the floor of the House.
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