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5-judge constitution bench to hear on September 27 the petition of Uddhav Thackeray-led faction

New Delhi, 7 September (Agency)

A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will hear the plea of ​​the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction on September 27. The petition has urged the Election Commission to restrain the Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led faction from taking it as the “real” Shiv Sena and deciding on the claim of giving the party’s symbol to them. A bench headed by Justice D.Y Chandrachud said that it will hear all the issues arising out of the petitions filed by both the parties relating to the power of the Speaker/Deputy Speaker and the Governor (of the Legislative Assembly) in connection with the political crisis in Maharashtra a few months back. Will pass instructions fixing time limit for the same. The bench is hearing pending cases related to the crisis that led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state. As soon as the hearing on the matter began, senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, appearing for Shinde faction, told the bench that the other side has sought intervention in the matter to restrain the Election Commission from taking any decision on his application. In the bench, Justice MR. Shah, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice P.S. Narasimha is also included. Kaul said the Election Commission of India (ECI) cannot be restrained from taking any decision and the apex court had earlier also refused to stay the Election Commission’s action. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Uddhav Thackeray faction, said that on August 3, a bench of the apex court had verbally asked the Election Commission to take any immediate action. Senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for the Election Commission, said that this is a process, when a complaint comes about the symbol, the commission has no option but to issue notice to the other party. “In this case also we have issued notice to the other party,” he said. Datar said there are many records and it would be appropriate if the process continues. He said that even if the MLAs are disqualified, they will continue to be members of the party.

Sibal said that if an MLA voluntarily gives up the membership of the party under the 10th Schedule and does not resign from the assembly, he can be disqualified. Justice Shah asked the lawyer to save his arguments for hearing on September 27. The top court had on August 23 ordered listing of various petitions of both the Shiv Sena factions before a five-judge constitution bench. The bench had said that these petitions raise several important constitutional issues related to the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, including disqualification, powers of the Speaker and the Governor and judicial review. The court had asked the Election Commission not to pass any order on the Shinde faction’s plea seeking to treat it as the “real” Shiv Sena and give the party’s election symbol.

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