Maharashtra Crisis: SC Says No Decision To Be Taken On Disqualification Of Rebel Sena MLAs Till July 11

 

The Supreme Court also asked the Maharashtra government to protect the life, liberty and property of 39 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to Deputy Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly, Secretary of Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly, and others on petitions filed by Eknath Shinde and 15 other rebel Shiv Sena MLAs against the disqualification notice served on them. A bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala also said no decision should be taken on their disqualification by the Maharashtra Assembly Deputy Speaker till July 11, PTI reported. 

Earlier, the rebel MLAs were asked by the Depurty Speaker to file their responses to the disqualification notices by 5.30 pm on Monday. 

The top court was hearing petitions by Eknath Shinde and the rebel Sena MLAs challenging the disqualification notices issued by the Maharashtra Deputy Speaker to them and also the appointment of Ajay Choudhari as the Shiv Sena Legislature Party leader.


However, the Supreme Court refused to pass any interim order on a plea that there should not be any floor test in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly till July 11. "We can't pass order on floor test as that would create unnecessary complications. If anything illegal happens, you can always move this court," the court said.

During the hearing, the Supreme Court asked the Eknath Shinde faction why they did not approach the Bombay High Court first. To this, advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, representing the rebel MLAs, said "their lives were under threat" and atmosphere was not conducive to pursue legal remedies in Mumbai.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Shiv Sena leadership, told the SC bench that rebel leader Eknath Shinde's petition could be heard by the Bombay High Court. "This isn't a case to allow leap-frogging," he said.

Kaul also said that the Deputy Speaker cannot proceed with the disqualification proceedings against the rebel MLAs since a resolution seeking his removal was pending. The advocate said that a minority of the legislative party was subverting the state machinery, and the houses of rebel MLAs were being attacked. 

To this, the Supreme Court asked the Maharashtra government to protect the life, liberty and property of 39 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs and their family members.

The bench then asked Singhvi if the Speaker could become a judge in his own cause and decide that the motion to remove him was invalid. "Is the Speaker entitled to decide disqualification petitions when his own removal motion is pending?" it asked.

Abhishek Singhvi referred to past judgments of the Supreme court and said the Deputy Speaker had the right to take a decision on the disqualification notices of rebel MLAs.

Supreme Court will hear the matter next on July 11.

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