New Delhi, August 4
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday said it would decide by August 8 whether to refer the issues arising out of the recent Maharashtra political crisis to a Constitution Bench.
“We will take a call by Monday whether to refer the matter to a five-judge Constitution Bench,” a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said.
The Bench asked the Election Commission not to take precipitate action on Eknath Shinde faction’s plea to be declared the real Shiv Sena and given the party symbol. The EC may give reasonable adjournment to the Uddhav Thackeray faction to file their reply in view of the pendency of the case before the top court, it said.
During the hearing, the CJI said, “We cannot totally ignore the political party; it will be a danger to democracy.” On July 20, the SC had hinted at sending the petitions relating to Maharashtra political drama to a Constitution Bench, saying the constitutional issues, including split, the merger of a political party, defection, and disqualification might require consideration by a larger bench. On Wednesday, it had asked the Shinde faction to redraft its submissions on petitions of the rival faction on constitutional issues arising out of the political crisis in the state.
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