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Shiv Sena (UBT) disqualification plea against Maha CM: SC to hear matter on March 7

A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra fixed the date on an urgent mentioning made by senior advocate Kapil Sibal for the UBT group
Last Updated 01 March 2024, 07:35 IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on March 7 a plea by Shiv Shiva (UBT) challenging Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar’s January 10 decision dismissing disqualification petitions filed against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his supporting MLAs.

A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra fixed the date on an urgent mentioning made by senior advocate Kapil Sibal for the UBT group.

On January 22, the court had issued notice in the matter.

The plea filed by UBT group's Sunil Prabhu contended the Speaker's orders were unlawful and perverse and in the teeth of the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Subhash Desai Vs Governor of Maharashtra (2022).

The Speaker on January 10 dismissed all disqualification petitions and declared Shinde's group as real Shiv Sena.

The petitioner claimed the Speaker's judgments have not even considered the main undisputed event, i.e., the oath taking on June 30, 2022, which conclusively established that all their acts from June 21, 2022 were for the purpose of toppling the elected government in Maharashtra led by their own political party. 

"There could not have been a clearer case of disqualification. Shinde met the Governor, and took oath as Chief Minister with support of the BJP on June 30, 2022, and all the respondent MLAs supported this decision, which itself amounted to voluntarily giving up membership of the political party," their plea said.

It said the Tenth Schedule is intended to disqualify legislators who act against their political party. “However, if majority of legislators are treated to be the political party, then the members of the actual political party become subject to the will of the majority of legislators. This is totally against the constitutional scheme, and is consequently liable to be set aside,” the plea said.

By treating the majority of legislators as representing the will of the political party, the speaker has in effect equated the legislature party with the political party, which is in the teeth of the law laid down by the apex court in Subhash Desai’s case, it said.

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(Published 01 March 2024, 07:35 IST)

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