Shiv Sena vs. Shiv Sena| Supreme Court reserves judgment

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In January, the Supreme Court had asked senior lawyer Kapil Sibbal appearing for Uddhav Thackeray faction to submit a brief note on his contention of referring the matter to a seven judge bench.

A constitution bench of the Supreme Court today reserved its judgment in the pleas revolving around the Maharashtra political which unfolded in the wake of Eknath Shinde's rebellion against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government then led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray raising 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.

CJI Chandrachud led bench today heard the rejoinder arguments by Senior Advocate Kapil SIbal and AM Singhvi representing the Uddhav Thackeray faction, before it reserved its judgement.

Sibal argued before court today that as per the Sarkaria commission, the Governor cannot hear an individual, only a party.

"Out of the 34 MLAs only 8 were Ministers, how could they be a majority.. How does Governor identify minority or majority to direct a floor test", he said.

Court was further told that the Governor had to look for the legislative party leader and he could not just call Eknath Shinde and sworn him in as CM.

On Shinde's allegations against Shiv Sena, Singhvi submitted, "If you say this is a rotten party then resign and re-contest. Elementary stand shows that 10th schedule is being reduced to a vanishing point. You have not resigned or gone to the Election Commission for almost a month."


In June, Shinde had moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Deputy Speaker to not take any action in the disqualification petition moved by the Sena, which had in turn sought disqualification of Shinde and other MLAs. 

A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and Pardiwala had extended the time granted by Deputy Speaker to Shinde and other MLAs to file their response to the disqualification petition. 

Sunil Prabhu, the erstwhile Chief Whip of the Shiv Sena and a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, had moved the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution, challenging the Governor's communication to hold a floor test on June 30. The Supreme Court, however, refused to stay the floor test in Maharashtra on June 30. 

After the hearing in Supreme Court on June 29, Bharat Gogawale, the Shiv Sena MLA from Mahad, filed an application seeking suspension of Shinde and other 'delinquent MLAs' from the membership of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly as an interim measure, till a decision on their disqualification petitions. The vacation bench, however, refused the urgent listing of the plea. 

Shinde took oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on June 30. Subsequently, on July 3, a floor test was conducted and Shinde emerged successful. His camp moved a plea for disqualification of Shiv Sena MLAs, who did not vote for Shinde at the floor test. 

On July 11, the SC  orally asked the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker to not decide matters pertaining to the disqualification of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly members till the petitions filed by the delinquent MLAs of Shiv Senachallenging the disqualification proceedings are pending before the apex court. The Uddhav camp has also challenged the decision of the Governor to appoint Shinde as the Chief Minister.

Case Title: Subhash Desai Vs Governor Maharashtra