The Supreme Court on Monday stated that it will list the plea filed by the Uddhav Thackeray faction challenging Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar’s order declaring the Shiv Sena bloc led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as the “real political party” following the outfit’s split in June 2022.
The Thackeray faction’s plea was slated for hearing on Monday, but due to time constraints, the matter could not be addressed during the day.
“Let them (Shinde faction) file a response. The notice was issued earlier,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the Thackeray faction, informed the bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra.
“We will list it,” stated the CJI.
Meanwhile, senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the Shinde group, mentioned that since a petition regarding the issue was already pending in the Bombay High Court, proceedings cannot simultaneously take place in two courts.
Earlier, on February 5, the bench led by the CJI had agreed to consider listing the Thackeray faction’s plea.
The top court had issued notices to Chief Minister Shinde and other lawmakers of his group on January 22 in response to the Thackeray bloc’s plea challenging the speaker’s order. The court had then directed its listing after two weeks.
The Thackeray faction has accused Shinde of “unconstitutionally usurping power” and leading an “unconstitutional government” in Maharashtra.
In his order issued on January 10, Speaker Narwekar had also dismissed the Thackeray faction’s request to disqualify 16 MLAs of the ruling camp, including Shinde. Challenging the speaker’s orders, the Thackeray faction has argued that they are “patently unlawful and perverse,” contending that instead of penalizing the act of defection, they reward the defectors by asserting that they constitute the real political party.