Uddhav Thackeray-Eknath Shinde tussle set for legal battle: All you need to know
As the Maharashtra political crisis enters its second week, here’s a quick look at the petitions pending before courts
The political crisis in Maharashtra is now in its second week amid widening rift between rebel minister Eknath Shinde and the Uddhav Thackeray government. The war of words has now taken a legal turn. Here’s a look at the petitions pending before courts.
The Supreme Court is all set to take up petitions moved by rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde on Sunday, challenging the disqualification notices sent by Maharashtra deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal to them on June 21, saying that they represented misuse of the anti-defection law by the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition.
A bench of justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala will take up two petitions, which were filed separately by Shinde and a group of 15 other dissident MLAs led by Bharat Gogawale. Sixteen MLAs have been issued summons by the Maharashtra legislature secretariat, seeking written replies by June 27 on disqualification notices filed against them.
In their petitions, the MLAs have pressed for staying the disqualification notices until the resolution for removal of deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal is decided. The petitions argued that when the resolution for his own removal from the office of the deputy speaker is pending, Zirwal lacks authority to initiate disqualification proceedings against other MLAs.
The petitions by 16 MLAs have also urged the court to ensure safety of their families, complaining that the state government unlawfully withdrew the security provided to the dissident leaders and their families in an act of revenge.
Separately, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Bombay High Court on Monday against Eknath Shinde, who is leading the group of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs from Maharashtra, for causing a “political turmoil” in the state and instigating an internal disorder in the state government.
The PIL sought appropriate action against the rebel leaders for the “omission of duties and moral wrongs committed, leading to disrespect towards the public rights and good governance”.
The litigation, filed by seven citizens of Maharashtra, also sought a direction to the Shiv Sena-led MVA government in the state to submit a detailed plan of assurance, detailing the process of governance in the absence of several of its ministers.
The plea, filed through advocates Asim Sarode and Ajinkya Udane, further sought the court to direct the rebel leaders to return to the state and resume their duties, and claimed the rebel MLAs were disregarding the oath taken by them under the Constitution.
The petition was mentioned on Monday before a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik for urgent hearing. The bench said it would assign a date (for hearing).
A majority of Shiv Sena MLAs have shifted their loyalty to Eknath Shinde and are currently camping in Assam’s Guwahati city, plunging the MVA government (comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) into a crisis.
With inputs from PTI.