The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Election Commission not to take any decision for now on the plea of the Eknath Shinde faction to be treated as the real Shiv Sena and given the party’s electoral symbol.
A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana said it would decide by Monday whether to refer matters related to the recent political crisis in Maharashtra to a constitution bench.
A bench comprising Justices Krishna Marari and Hema Kohli said, “We will decide whether to refer the matter to a five-judge constitution bench.”
The Supreme Court was hearing petitions filed by the Shiv Sena and its rebel MLAs during the recent political crisis in Maharashtra, raising constitutional issues such as bifurcation, merger of political parties, defection and disqualification.
Uddhav Thackeray and his MLA team do not want the Election Commission to take any decision on the case yet. He had earlier asked the court to restrain the polling panel from taking any decision until the disqualification of the “rebel” MLAs led by Shinde was decided.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Shiv Sena faction led by Shinde to reframe its submissions on petitions filed by the rival Uddhav Thackeray group on constitutional issues arising out of the political crisis.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Uddhav Thackeray’s faction, had said that MLAs who sided with the Shinde camp could save themselves from disqualification under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution only by giving the breakaway group a second term. By integrating into the party. Sibal told the bench, which also included Justices Krishna Murari and Hema Kohli, that he had no other defense available. “Once you are elected, it does not mean that the umbilical cord with the political party is broken and you have nothing to do with your political party,” Sibal said.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Shinde faction, said the anti-defection law is not a weapon for leaders who have lost numbers to lock in their members. Referring to the factual aspects, Salve said that it was not the case that the MLAs had voluntarily left the membership of the political party.
“This is not a case of defection. Today it is a case of rebellion within the party and no one has voluntarily joined the party,” Salve said. After hearing the submissions, the bench said it would on Thursday will hear the matter to decide the matter and asked Salve to reframe the questions of law.
With input from agencies
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