NEW DELHI: The 5-judge constitution bench will be hearing the Shiv Sena rift case on March 7. On Thursday, Senior advocate Harish Salve stepped into argue on behalf of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led group upsetting the drawn schedule.
Salve has to wind up his arguments, followed by senior advocates Mahesh Jethmalani and Maninder Singh for the Shinde group. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta will speak on behalf of former Governor BS Koshyari. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Uddhav Thackeray, will then get time for the rejoinder.
While Salve said the rules should be amended and the Speaker should be given a fixed time to decide the disqualification petitions. He also ridiculed rivals' senior lawyer Kapil Sibal's demand to subject floor test to the court judgment.
He said Schedule 10 of the Constitution does not have a provision now of the headcount and yet Sibal wanted the Court to do it. Salve then argued that the Governor asked Shinde to take oath as CM because the state cannot remain without one and highlighted that Shinde was allowed floor test and succeeded in the same.
Senior advocate NK Kaul continued his arguments on behalf of Shinde group for an hour or so and when it was turn of of Jethmalani, he submitted to first allow Salve who was also appearing for the Shinde group.
Headed by Chief Justice of India, the Bench comprised Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha. It has to decide whether to refer the matter to a 7-member Bench in view of the same issues already dealt by another 5-judge bench of Nabam Rebia of Arunachal Pradesh.
Salve, who was arguing from his office possibly in London, disagreed with the CJI that Nabam ruling restricted the hand of the Speaker, saying it only elaborated the manner in which the Speaker can exercise his powers.
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