Supreme Court directs Maha Speaker to set timelines for deciding disqualification petitions against Shinde, rebel MLA's

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The Court said that its May 11 order on the Maha political crisis required that the Speaker adhere to the dignity of the court and decide the issue of disqualification within a reasonable time


The Supreme Court ordered that the disqualification petitions against Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and rebel MLA's be taken up within a week, wherein Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly will decide a time schedule for wrapping them up.

A bench of CJI DY Chandrachud, Justices JB Pardiwala & Manoj Misra were informed by Kapil Sibal, Senior Advocate in the plea by Sunil Prabhu, an MLA from the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction) seeking direction to Speaker to expeditiously decide disqualification petitions against rebel legislators led by CM Eknath Shinde, that there was no progress after four months of the May 11 order of the Supreme Court in which the court had said that the Speaker must decide the petitions within a reasonable period. The order was passed in pleas revolving around the Maharashtra political crisis,  which unfolded in the wake of Eknath Shinde's rebellion against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government then led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The pleas raised important constitutional questions relating to interpretation of Schedule X of the Constitution pertaining to disqualification, as well as the powers of the Speaker and the Governor and the power of judicial review thereof.

Today, Sibal told the bench that despite the court orders, the speaker had not acted on the petitions. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta objected to the statement on the Speaker and said that one constitutional functionary could not have vilified in front of another.

Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul told court that it was decided by both the parties before court that precipitative action will be taken, adding that it was not the fault of the speaker if pleadings had to be completed and each MLA wanted to file a reply.

The Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena had filed disqualification petitions against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other MLAs. Shinde got support from from majority MLAs in then undivided Shiv Sena, leading to the downfall of the MVA. Shinde took over as Chief Minister in collusion with Devendra Fadnavis of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the deputy CM of Maharashtra.


Case Title: Sunil Prabhu Vs. Speaker, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly