Sena, rebel MLAs pleas raise constitutional issue: SC

One-liner: The SC on Wednesday said the petitions filed by Shiv Sena and its rebel MLAs raise many constitutional questions relating to defection, merger and disqualification, which may require consideration by a larger bench.

Larger bench:  bench directed the parties to formulate the issues that require examination by a larger bench by July 27 and for the matter to be heard on Aug 1.

5 pending cases: The bench was hearing five pending cases related to the recent political crisis in Maharashtra that led to the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi govt in the state.

Mala fide: Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena, told the bench that the speaker of the Assembly recognising a whip other than the official whip nominated by the party is mala fide.

Submission: He submitted that the Governor could not have sworn in an individual (Eknath Shinde) who had sought to separate himself from the party elected to power by the people and thus, was disqualified under the 10th schedule of the Constitution.

Removal sought: Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the former chief whip of Shiv Sena, Sunil Prabhu, said a day before departing for Guwahati, the members of the party's rebel faction sent an e-mail to the deputy speaker, seeking his removal.

Salve's comment:  Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for CM Shinde, stated that in a democracy, people may gang up and tell the PM "sorry, you can't continue".

  • ``If a leader gathers strength within the party and stays in it to question its leader without leaving the party, it is not defection,'' Salve submitted

What is wrong: He asked the court that if a large number of people in a political party feel that another man should lead them, what is wrong with it?

CJI's reaction:  At this juncture, the CJI said, ``Initially, I had some doubts. This is a politically sensitive case and I do not want to give an impression that we are tilted.''

Bottom line: Both sides have accused each other of defying the party whip during the Speaker's election and the trust vote on July 3 and July 4 respectively, seeking disqualification of the legislators from both sides.

Source: PTI

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