16 March 2023 10:40 AM GMT
A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved judgment in a batch of cases relating to the rift within the Shiv Sena party between Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde groups, which led to the change in the government in Maharashtra in July 2022.The batch includes the petitions filed by members from the groups of Shinde and Thackeray over several issues. The first petition...
A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved judgment in a batch of cases relating to the rift within the Shiv Sena party between Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde groups, which led to the change in the government in Maharashtra in July 2022.
The batch includes the petitions filed by members from the groups of Shinde and Thackeray over several issues. The first petition was filed by Eknath Shinde in June 2022 challenging the notices issued by the then Deputy Speaker against the rebels under the tenth schedule of the Constitution over alleged defection. Later, the Thackeray group filed petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Maharashtra Governor to call for a trust vote, the swearing-in of Eknath Shinde as the Chief Minister of the Government with the backing of BJP, the election of new Speaker etc.
In August 2022, a 3-judge bench led by the then Chief Justice of India NV Ramana referred the petitions to a Constitution Bench, raising the following issues :
A. Whether the notice of removal of the speaker restricts him from continuing the disqualification proceedings under Schedule X of the Indian Constitution as held by the Court in Nabam Rebia;
B. Whether a petition under Article 226 and Article 32 lies inviting a decision on a disqualification proceeding by the High Courts or the Supreme Court as the case may be;
C. Can a court hold that a member is deemed to be disqualified by virtue of his/her actions absent a decision by the Speaker?
D. What is the status of proceedings in the House during the pendency of disqualification petitions against the members?
E. If the decision of speaker that a member was incurred disqualification under the Tenth Schedule relates back to the date of the complaint, then what is the status of proceedings that took place during the pendency of the disqualification petition?
F. What is the impact of the removal of Para 3 of the Tenth Schedule? (which omitted "split" in a party as a defence against disqualification proceedings)
G. What is the scope of the power of the Speaker to determine the whip and leader of house of the legislative party?
H. What is the interplay with respect to the provisions of the Tenth Schedule?
I. Are intra-party questions amenable to judicial review? What is the scope of the same?
J. Power of the governor to invite a person to form the government and whether the same is amenable to judicial review?
H. What is the scope of the powers of Election Commission of India with respect to deter an ex parte split within a party.
Hearing before the Constitution Bench
A 5-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha started hearing the matter on February 14.
A preliminary issue was raised by the Uddhav side that the matter should be referred to a larger bench to reconsider the dictum laid down in the Nabam Rebia(2016) judgment that Speakers cannot issue disqualification notices when a notice seeking their removal are pending. The bench heard arguments on the preliminary issue for three days. On February 17, the bench decided to consider this preliminary issue along with the merits of the matter. On the same day, the Election Commission of India passed the order giving recognition to Eknath Shinde as the official Shiv Sena.
From February 21, the bench started hearing the matter on merits. Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal, Dr.Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Devadatt Kamat made arguments on behalf of the Uddhav side. Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, Harish Salve, Mahesh Jethmalani and Maninder Singh argued for the Shinde side and were assisted by Mr. Chirag Shah, Mr. Utsav Trivedi, Mr. Himanshu Sachdeva, Ms. Manini Roy, Mr. Piyush Tiwari and Ms. Chaitali Jugran, Advocates from M/s. TAS Law (Advocates on Record). Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta argued on behalf of the Maharashtra Governor.
Live updates from today's hearing can be read here
Links of the reports on the previous hearing below :
Shiv Sena Case | Approving Shinde Faction Will Enable Future Bulk Defections, Any Govt Can Be Toppled : Kapil Sibal In Supreme Court (Feb 21)
Shiv Sena Case | What Is The Ultimate Relief Court Can Grant? Supreme Court Asks Thackeray Faction (Feb 22)
Shiv Sena Crisis | Legislative Party Cannot Act Independent Of Political Party: Thackeray Faction To Supreme Court (Feb 22)
Shiv Sena Case | How Can We Take Over Speaker's Functions? Supreme Court To Uddhav Side (Feb 23)
Shiv Sena Crisis | 'I Stand Here Not Just For This Case, But For Protection Of Constitutional Processes' : Sr Adv Kapil Sibal To Supreme Court (Feb 23)
Shiv Sena Crisis : Will Uddhav Thackeray's Decision To Resign Before Floor Test Become Crucial In Supreme Court Case? (Feb 25)
Shiv Sena Case Hearing | If Some MLAs In A Political Party Oppose Coalition After Forming Govt, They Will Attract Disqualification : Supreme Court (Feb 28)
Shiv Sena Case | Uddhav Side Urges Supreme Court To Restore Status Quo Ante As On June 27, 2022 (March 1)
Shiv Sena Case Hearing | Immaterial For 10th Schedule Whether Rival Group Has Majority; ECI Decision Has Retroactive Effect : Supreme Court (March 2)
Shivsena Crisis | Political Waters Take Different Turns, Not For Court To Speculate: Senior Advocate Harish Salve To Supreme Court (March 2)
Shiv Sena Case Hearing | Distinction Between 'Split' & Rebel Group Taking Control Of Party Very Thin, Says Supreme Court (March 14)
Shiv Sena Case: Principle Of Majority Rule Higher Than Evil Of Defection,’ Eknath Shinde’s Faction Tells Supreme Court (March 14)
Shiv Sena Case | Governor Can't Enter Into An Area Which Precipitates Government's Fall : Supreme Court Says During Hearing (March 15)
Shiv Sena Case| Discontent Within Party Won't Justify Governor Calling For Trust Vote : Supreme Court Says During Hearing (March 16)
Accepting Eknath Shinde Group's Case Will Bring Back 'Aaya Ram Gaya Ram' Regime : Kapil Sibal To Supreme Court (March 16)
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