SC issues notice to CM Shinde and his camp on Thackeray faction’s plea

A bench issued notice and called for response of CM Shinde and 38 other MLAs of his camp in the matter.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a plea filed by Shiv Sena-UBT leader Sunil Prabhu challenging the ruling of Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar which had held that Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led faction is the “real” Shiv Sena.

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A bench, headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, issued notice and called for the response of CM Shinde and 38 other MLAs of his camp in the matter.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Uddhav Thackeray-led faction, urged the bench to entertain the special leave petition filed before the apex court saying that the order passed by Speaker Narwekar involves an interpretation of the May 2023 judgment of the Constitution Bench.

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As he requested the top court to make the notice returnable within a period of two weeks, CJI Chandrachud said that a fixed date will be given in the matter.

Former CM Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction petitioned the Supreme Court questioning the January 10 decision passed by Narwekar holding that the group led by CM Shinde was the real “Shiv Sena” as it commanded a majority in the legislature and also in the party’s National Executive.

The petition also challenges the dismissal of the disqualification petitions filed against CM Shinde and other MLAs of his camp.

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday had issued notice to the 14 Shiv Sena-UBT MLAs and others in a petition filed by ruling Shiv Sena’s Chief Whip Bharat Gogavale seeking disqualification of Thackeray’s faction legislators.

A division bench of Justices G.S. Kulkarni and F.P. Pooniwalla posted the matter for further hearing on February 8.

Thackeray’s legislative flock was saved from disqualification with the cross-petitions of both sides getting dismissed by Speaker Narwekar in the impugned January 10 verdict.

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