Speaker of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Rahul Narvekar on Thursday issued a new schedule for hearing of the petitions for disqualifications of Shiv Sena MLAs. Now the hearing will begin on November 21 and the verdict will be given on December 31.
"The next hearing will be on November 16 till then all the documents related to the petitions are to be produced before the Speaker. The regular hearing shall begin on November 21 and the final verdict can come by December 31 if the counsels from both the sides cooperate," Adv Narvekar said after the hearing today.
Speaker permits submission of new evidence
The Speaker also granted permission to submit new evidence as well as re-examining witnesses during hearing on disqualification petitions. Volley of sparkling arguments too were witnessed as both the sides debated the Whip issued for the meeting in Mumbai.
The Shiv Sena (UBT) counsel Devdutt Kamat made it clear that the Whip was issues via email, while the counsel for Chief Minister Eknath Shinde made it clear that his client never received the whip and raised several questions about the email id from where it was sent, the email id to which it was sent etc. The counsel argued that since the whip wasn't received, it can't be said that it wasn't adhered to and hence it wrongs the whole premise of the demand for disqualification.
Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Anil Desai, MLA Sunil Prabhu and MLA Ajay Chaudhari were present during the hearing.
Before the arguments about the Whip, the hearing began today with Thackeray group counsel Devdutt Kamat's arguments regarding new evidence. He argued that there was no need for new documents or evidence. He also stated that he is not opposed to evidence presented before the Supreme Court during the hearing and that the hearing be taken based on those evidences. However, after the counter argument from the counsels from Shinde group, Speaker Narvekar ruled that the new evidence can be presented. He also said that both sides agreed to the decision to expedite the hearing.
After the decision on the first application, the hearing on the second application moved by the Thackeray group regarding issuing Whip began. While referring to the hearing in SC, the Thackeray group stated that the Whip issued by the Shinde group was invalid. The Thackeray group also stated that the Whip issued over email was valid and also stated that IT experts will be able to establish whether the email was received on the said email and whether the email belonged to Eknath Shinde.
The arguments are to be continued.