The Supreme Court on Friday (July 14), issued a notice on a plea of Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of Shiv Sena (UBT) seeking direction to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly speaker to take expeditious decision on the disqualification petitions pending against rebel MLAs led by Eknath Shinde.
The SC was hearing a petition of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sunil Prabhu seeking a direction to Maharashtra assembly speaker to decide pleas for disqualification of CM Eknath Shinde and other MLAs of his faction.
Speaker's comment in May on disqualification
Earlier in May, Maharashtra speaker had said that decision on 16 MLAs of Shinde camp won't be taken under pressure. "I welcome the decision of the Supreme Court, which has given special powers to the Assembly Speaker while giving its verdict in the case of disqualification of 16 MLAs of Maharashtra government," Narwekar had said. Narwekar had said at the time: "We will make 54 MLAs a party and get them heard. Which political party was there in July 2022...it has to be seen who was representing the authorized party."
The Supreme Court, earlier in the year, had held that former Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was "not justified" to call for a floor test based on the request of Eknath Shinde faction since he did not have enough objective material before him to conclude that the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had lost the confidence of the House, reported ANI. However, Uddhav Thackeray had himself resigned before the floor test, which led the Supreme Court to remark that it could not dismiss the Shinde government as Uddhav had resigned and not taken the floor test.
Last year developments
In August last year, the top court's three-judge bench had referred to a five-judge Constitution bench the issues involved in the petition filed by rival groups of Shiv Sena in relation to the Maharashtra political crisis.
After the apex court's order, Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation as the Chief Minister and Eknath Shinde was later sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
(With agency inputs)