New Delhi: Senior advocate Kapil Sibal on Wednesday told the Supreme Court's constitution bench on the double standard of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in claiming to be a political party before the Court, but also claiming to be a faction of the Shiv Sena to recognise it as a real Shiv Sena.
Appearing for the Uddhav Thackeray group, he also faulted the Governor for deciding Shinde as a faction and noting the mockery of the Tenth Schedule to bring back in the Indian politics the concept of "Ayaram and Gayaram". He said the only identity of a MLA is his political party which gives him the party symbol to contest and that identity remains irrespective of whether the government is formed by the single largest party or pre-poll alliance or post-poll coalition, always recognising the political party in every scenario.
Sibal blames Constitution Bench for injustice on Thackeray group
Sibal said the numbers do not count in formation of the government that the Shinde group used to let it form the government with the governor's support. He also indirectly blamed the Constitution Bench for injustice on Thackeray group twice, first by refusing to stay the governor's order for trust vote and then not stopping the Election Commission to decide who is real Shiv Sena in giving the party symbol. The EC gave it the symbol on the strength of just 39 MLAs.
The hearing to decide whether the 5-judge Bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha give the ruling or refer the matter to a 7-judge Bench since it would otherwise override another judgment by a 5-judge bench in case of Nabam Rebia of Arunachal Pradesh on the similar issues.
Final hearing on March 16
Sibal, who was on his feet when the Bench rose for the day will be arguing on Thursday, the last day of the hearing before the Bench reserves the ruling on the Shiv Sena matter.
The hearing on Wednesday prolonged since Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who promised to argue for an hour, went on for three hours justifying why the governor asked Thackeray to take the trust vote and invited Eknath Shinde to take the oath as the chief minister since on record he was the leader of the Shiv Sena legislature party.
In between, CJI Chandrachud said the govrenor should not have lent himself to seek trust vote from Thackeray. When Mehta sought to remove this "confusion" of the court, the CJI said it was the bench's concern. Mehta said the governor could not have been a mute spectator when he got a letter of threats to the lives of the MLAs and their family members.
The Chief justice said threat to life cannot be a legitimate ground for the trust vote. He also wondered why this divorce after the Shinde group cohabiting under Thackeray for three years. The solicitor general said the governor acted on the basis of the arising situation and he should not be blamed for short-circuiting the Shiv Sena of Thackeray.
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