There is an urgent need to hear the petitions concerning the situation which unfolded in Maharashtra, in the wake of Eknath Shinde’s rebellion against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government then led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the latter’s faction told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Senior advocate Devadutt Kamat appearing for the Thackeray faction mentioned the petitions, which have been filed by each faction against the other, before a bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and said that the urgency for hearing the pending petition exists because the government being run in the state is “unconstitutional” and a hearing to decide the issue is a must.
The bench said that the hearing will take place on January 13, 2023, as a constitution bench will not assemble next week on account of it being a miscellaneous hearing week.
A bench comprising then Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli have already formulated 11 questions for consideration of a constitution bench.
SENA VS SENA
In June, Shinde had moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Deputy Speaker to not take any action in the disqualification petition moved by the Sena, which had in turn sought disqualification of Shinde and other MLAs.
A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and Pardiwala had extended the time granted by Deputy Speaker to Shinde and other MLAs to file their response to the disqualification petition.
Sunil Prabhu, the erstwhile Chief Whip of the Shiv Sena and a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, had moved the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution, challenging the Governor’s communication to hold a floor test on June 30. The Supreme Court, however, refused to stay the floor test in Maharashtra on June 30.
After the hearing in Supreme Court on June 29, Bharat Gogawale, the Shiv Sena MLA from Mahad, filed an application seeking suspension of Shinde and other ‘delinquent MLAs’ from the membership of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly as an interim measure, till a decision on their disqualification petitions. The vacation bench, however, refused the urgent listing of the plea.
Shinde took oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on June 30. Subsequently, on July 3, a floor test was conducted and Shinde emerged successful. His camp moved a plea for disqualification of Shiv Sena MLAs, who did not vote for Shinde at the floor test.
On July 11, the SC orally asked the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker to not decide matters pertaining to the disqualification of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly members till the petitions filed by the delinquent MLAs of Shiv Sena challenging the disqualification proceedings are pending before the apex court. The Uddhav camp has also challenged the decision of the Governor to appoint Shinde as the Chief Minister.
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