Maharashtra political crisis: SC bench headed by CJI to hear pleas on July 20

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Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde. Photo: ANI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on July 20 will hear pleas filed by both factions of the Shiv Sena pertaining to the Maharashtra political crisis.

A bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli will hear pleas on Wednesday filed by Uddhav Thackeray-led camp and Eknath Shinde camp.

Earlier, the top court had asked the Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Rahul Narwekar not to take any action on the new disqualification notices issued against the members of Shiv Sena.

It had asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Maharashtra Governor, to inform its direction to the newly-appointed Assembly Speaker.

The order of the bench had come after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Uddhav Thackeray camp, mentioned th matter for urgent listing of the pleas saying the matters were posted for July 11 but were not listed today.

"The disqualification plea is listed tomorrow before the Speaker. Let there be no disqualification untill the matter is decided," Sibal had told the bench.

The bench had said the matter will require constitution of bench and it will take some time to be listed.

During the summer vacation, the top court had listed a number of petitions on Maharashtra political crisis on July 11.

There are various petitions pending before the apex court filed by both the factions of Shiv Sena.

Uddhav Thackeray-led faction had approached the top court challenging the Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari's decision to invite Eknath Shinde to form the government and also the Speaker's election and floor test.

They had also challenged the newly appointed Maharashtra Assembly Speaker's action recognising the whip of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde group as the whip of Shiv Sena. The plea said newly appointed Speaker has no jurisdiction to recognise whips nominated by Shinde as Uddhav Thackeray is still the head of Shiv Sena official party.

Thackeray camp's Sunil Prabhu had filed plea seeking suspension from Maharashtra Assembly of new Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and 15 rebel MLAs against whom disqualification pleas are pending.

Shinde group's challenged the disqualification notices issued by the Deputy Speaker to 16 rebel MLAs as well as appointment of Ajay Choudhary as Shiv Sena Legislature Party leader, is also pending before the apex court.

On June 29, the top court gave a go ahead to the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on June 30. Refusing to stay the Maharashtra Governor's direction to the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to prove his majority support on the floor of the House on June 30, the bench had issued notice on Prabhu's plea against floor test.

After the apex court's order, Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation as the Chief Minister and Eknath Shinde was later sworn-in as the Chief Minister.

On June 27, the top court had granted interim relief to Shinde and other rebel MLAs to file their reply on disqualification notices issued to them by Deputy Speaker by July 12, 5.30 pm. Earlier, Deputy Speaker had granted them time to file reply by June 27, 5.30 pm.


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