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Maharashtra Crisis: SC Allows Eknath Shinde Camp To File Reply To Disqualification Notice By July 11

Maharashtra Crisis Latest Update: After hearing the plea, the Supreme Court issued notice to Shiv Sena leaders Ajay Chaudhary, Sunil Prabhu and asked them to file a reply within five days.

Updated: June 27, 2022 3:43 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Manmath Nayak

Maharashtra Political Crisis Latest Update

Maharashtra Crisis Latest Update: In a big relief to Eknath Shinde camp, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered a status quo on disqualification proceedings till July 11. With the SC order, the Deputy Speaker’s Monday deadline to the rebel Sena leaders now stands deferred till July 11.

The Supreme Court also issued a notice to Deputy Speaker, Secretary of Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly, Centre and others on pleas filed by the rebel MLAs against the disqualification notice issued by the Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal against Eknath Shinde and 15 other rebel legislators.

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The Supreme Court has issued notice to Shiv Sena leaders Ajay Chaudhary, Sunil Prabhu and asked them to file a reply within five days. The Supreme Court will hear the matter again on July 11.

On request of providing security to 39 MLAs alleging threat, SC has recorded that the statement of standing counsel of the Maharashtra government that adequate steps have already been taken and the state government will further ensure that no harm is caused to the life, liberty, or property of the MLAs.

On Sunday evening, Maharashtra Shiv Sena MLA and minister Eknath Shinde had moved the Supreme Court against the disqualification notice issued by the deputy speaker to him and 15 other rebel legislators, calling the action “illegal and unconstitutional” and seeking a stay on it.

Ekanath Shinde and a sizable number of MLAs have rebelled against the leadership of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on June 21 and are currently in Guwahati in Assam. Their main demand is that the Sena withdraws from the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance, which also comprises the Congress and NCP.

Shinde in his plea said that he is constrained to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution challenging the “arbitrary and illegal” exercise of provisions of Members of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on ground of Defection) Rules, 1986 by the deputy speaker which is completely violative of Article 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.

“The illegal and unconstitutional action of the Deputy Speaker insofar as recognising Ajay Choudhury as the leader of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party (SSLP) despite the said request being admittedly made by a minority faction of the SSLP. Further, the said Respondent No. 1 (Deputy Speaker), even after belonging to the minority faction of the SSLP, has also filed a Petition under Rule 6 of MLA Defection Rules seeking disqualification of the Petitioner under Para-2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India for which the Petitioner received a notice dated June 2, 2022,” the plea said.

The petition contended that the seat of Speaker is vacant since Nana Patole resigned from office in February 2021 and there is no authority who can adjudicate upon the disqualification petition under which the impugned notice has been issued to the petitioner.

Shinde, who is MLA from Kopri-Pachpakhadi constituency of Thane, has challenged the ex-facie illegal disqualification proceedings initiated against him at the instance of Shiv Sena’s chief whip, Sunil Prabhu, and said he had no authority to issue any whip having been removed as the Chief Whip of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party and the consequent issuance of summons issued by the deputy speaker without verifying the matter.

The plea filed through advocate Abhinay Sharma said the deputy speaker cannot disqualify any member under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution during the pendency of his own removal resolution and termed his action in recognising Ajay Choudhary and Sunil Prabhu as Leader and Chief Whip of SSLP as illegal.

Last week, the Maharashtra legislature secretariat on Saturday had issued “summons” to 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, including Shinde, seeking written replies by the evening of June 27 to the complaints seeking their disqualification.

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