BREAKING: Supreme Court refuses urgent listing of application seeking suspension of Eknath Shinde and Other MLAs

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The Supreme Court today refused urgent listing of an application filed before it seeking to suspend Eknath Shinde and other 'delinquent MLAs' from the membership of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, as an interim measure, till their disqualification petitions are finally decided.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal today mentioned the plea, seeking urgent listing and said, “The problem that faces all of us is that whose votes are to be counted. There is no merger. Both sides are going to issue the whip. This is not a dance of democracy."

To this, a vacation bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice JB Pardiwala said, "We will examine this issue on July 11, 2022".

In the present application, filed by Bharat Gogawale, the Shivsena MLA from Mahad, and others have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Top Court's decision to extend time granted by Deputy Speaker to Eknath Shinde and other MLAs to file their response in their disqualification petition. The speaker had asked them to respond to the same by 5.30 PM on June 27, whereas the Court had extended it till 5:30 PM on July 12, 2022. 

"The fact that Shri Eknath Shinde became the Chief Minister and Shri Devendra Fadnavis became the Deputy Chief Minister clearly shows that Eknath Shinde along with his coterie of delinquent MLAs had all along been hand in gloves with the BJP to bring down the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi (‘MVA’) government, led by their own political party i.e. the Shivsena...", the application submits.

Said application has been filed by Shivsena MLAs in order to ensure that the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution is not rendered toothless and the defectors are not allowed to enjoy the fruits of defection while the hands of the Deputy Speaker are tied.

The instant application was filed after the Supreme Court on Wednesday had refused to stay the floor test in Maharashtra that was scheduled to be held yesterday (June 30, 2022). 

A vacation bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice JB Pardiwala however had issued notice in the matter and had clarified that the outcome of the floor test was subject to the outcome of the plea.

Notably, after the top court's decision to not stay the floor test, the then CM Uddhav Thackeray had tendered his resignation. 

Shiv Sena Chief Whip Sunil Prabhu had approached the court challenging the Governor's communication to the Assembly to conduct floor test.

Prabhu had alleged that the said communication is completely mala fide, unconstitutional, and illegal as the same has been issued in complete defiance to the fact that the Top Court is already seized with the issue of the disqualification proceedings initiated against Eknath Shinde and other MLAs. 

Case Title: Eknath Sambhaji Shinde vs. Deputy Speaker, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and Ors.