With the dissident Shiv Sena leaders, Eknath Shinde filed a writ petition to challenge the Deputy Speaker’s disqualification notifications issued to rebel MLAs for proceedings under the Constitution’s tenth schedule over alleged defection in the Supreme Court. The opposing camp has also contested various moves made by the deputy speaker in this case, including the removal of Shinde from the position of parliamentary party leader and the acceptance of the Uddhav Thackeray faction’s successor. On June 27, a vacation bench made up of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala will hear the petition.

Eknath Shinde, a dissident Shiv Sena leader, filed a writ case in the Supreme Court challenging the Deputy Speaker’s disqualification notifications given to rebel MLAs for proceedings under the C Act. According to Shinde’s appeal, which was submitted on June 26 at around 6.30 PM, the no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, a member of the Nationalist Congress Party, was defeated. The Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly issued the disqualification letters because the Speaker’s office was vacant.

The Deputy Speaker should not have acknowledged Ajay Choudhury as the leader of the Shiv Sena, according to the petition filed.

In his request, Shinde, who asserts to have the support of more than two-thirds of Shiv Sena MLAs, asks that the disqualification notice procedures be placed on hold until the resolution of the debate over the removal of the Deputy Speaker.

The argument made in the plea was that Schedule X of the Constitution forbade the Deputy Speaker from disqualifying any members while a resolution to remove himself was still being considered. Additionally, it stated that Narhari Zirwal is functioning as Deputy Speaker while remaining actively involved in NCP operations. The NCP is revered in the Shiv Sena’s worldview. Zirwal is consequently politically biased and cannot be relied upon to reach a fair and impartial conclusion.

Additionally, the petition claimed that the disqualification letters could not be upheld because it is insufficient to be absent from party meetings in order to be disqualified. Only actions taken in the House are subject to the Party’s issued whip. Shinde claims that he has not resigned from the Shiv Sena and that neither have his supporters, and that their actions do not meet the criteria for “voluntarily giving up membership” as stipulated in Paragraph 2 of the Tenth Schedule. In any case, the majority of the party’s members had stripped Chief Whip Sunil Prabhu of his duties and appointed Bharat Gogawale in his place. Sunil Prabhu’s whip is hence ineffective.

The Shinde camp has asked the supreme court to order stay on the Deputy Speaker’s disqualification notice for Shinde and 15 other MLAs. The Deputy Speaker is instructed not to make a decision about the petition for disqualification until the no-confidence motion against the Deputy Speaker is resolved. Other than that, they want to reverse the deputy speaker’s declaration that Ajay Choudhari leads the Shiv Sena Legislative Party. And to contact Maharashtra police to provide security to the family of rebel MLAs. 

Eknath Shinde is supported by more than 50 legislators, of whom more than 40 are Shiv Sena legislators. Eknath Shinde already has the support of more than two-thirds of the 55 MLAs who make up Shiv Sena’s entire strength in the house, which is the necessary threshold to avoid the anti-defection statute. Currently residing in Guwahati’s Hotel Radisson Blu are the rebel MLAs.

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