SC To Hear On July 11 Sena Chief Whip's New Plea Seeking Suspension Of New CM Eknath Shinde And 15 Other MLAs
The Shiv Sena Chief Whip Sunil Prabhu today moved Supreme Court by way of an Interlocutory Application seeking suspension of the newly elected Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and 15 other MLAs against whom disqualification petitions have been filed, till a final decision is taken in the case concerning their disqualification.
A vacation Bench of Justice Suryakant and Justice JB Pardiwala agreed to consider the application on July 11, along with the main petitions, followed by an urgent mention made by Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal.
To this, Justice Suryakant said that the Bench was fully conscious of the issue and that the Court has not shut its eyes. The Bench will consider the matter on July 11.
I am sorry for the trouble...We have filed an application. Your lordships on June 29 passed an order, thereafter Eknath Shinde was sworn in as chief minister. The problem that faces the assembly and all of us is that as to how the votes have to be counted as there is no merger under...10th schedule of the Constitution, the senior lawyer said.
Further, Sibal argued that both sides (of Shiv Sena) are going to issue a whip. How we are going to control the proceedings of the House. Whose whip is going to be counted? He (Shinde) is not the party and that matter can only be decided by the Election Commission. Ex-facie, this is not the dance of democracy.
The application has been filed in Writ Petitions that have been filed by Eknath Shinde and Bharat Gogawale challenging the initiation of the disqualification proceedings against them by the Deputy Speaker on the disqualifications petitions filed by the Applicant on the ground that the Deputy Speaker does not have the jurisdiction to decide the same on account of the purported notice for removal of the Speaker.
Prabhu has prayed before the Apex Court to suspend the Shinde and 15 other MLAs (Petitioners) from the membership of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, as an interim measure, till the disqualification petitions are decided.
The application has been filed by Counsel Javedur Rahman.
The Applicant has pleaded before the Court that as the ultimate guardian of the Constitution to ensure that the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution is not rendered toothless and the defectors enjoying the fruit of defection while the hands of the Deputy Speaker are tied.
Further, the Applicant has contended that 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.
Additionally, the Shiv Sena Chief Whip has stated in his application that there could be no other act or conduct as brazen where Shri Eknath Shinde along with his coterie of MLAs, brought down his own Maha Vikas Aghadi Government led by Shri Uddhav Thackeray, and as a reward for such anti-party activity, the BJP despite having the largest numbers in the State Assembly has offered the post of Chief Minister to Shri Eknath Shinde.
Prabhu has further stated that the conduct of the delinquents is so egregious and palpable that it does not even require calling for any explanation but should straightaway lead to termination from the membership of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly of Eknath Shinde along with other rebel MLAs supporting him.
It has also been urged that immediately after the MLC elections it was widely reported in the media that Eknath Shinde who was then a Cabinet Minister of Urban Development and Public Works (Public Undertakings), along with certain other delinquent MLAs of the SSLP had gone into hiding in the BJP ruled neighbouring state of Gujarat.
Furthermore, the Application has argued that the conduct of the Petitioner along with other delinquent MLAs is totally in concert with the main opposition party in the State i.e., BJP and that is evident om the fact that they remained in hiding in the State of Gujarat first and subsequently flew away to the state of Assam, both states being ruled by the BJP dispensation. It is interesting to note that the MLAs of Maharashtra were passing 'resolutions' sitting in Assam, which had the effect of destabilizing their own government in Maharashtra.
Prabhu has further stated that the Petitioners along with other delinquent MLAs had indulged in anti-party activities by orchestrating defections within the SSLP in order to destabilize the MVA government.
The delinquent MLAs who have been acting as pawns of the BJP, thereby committing the constitutional sin of defection, ought not to be allowed to perpetuate their sin even for a single day by permitting them to continue as Members of the Assembly, reads the application.
The Application has urged the Apex Court to examine the bare facts of the case particularly the now undeniable and unimpeachable fact of Eknath Shinde being rewarded for his defection by being offered the post of Chief Minister along with Shri Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP as his Deputy, and take a decision on whether the conduct of the rebels by lure of office entails the punishment of disqualification or the reward of Chief Ministership.
On June 29, the Maharashtra governor ordered a floor test leading the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to rush to the top court seeking its deferment.
The Bench had refused to stay in the direction of the Governor to the 31-month-old MVA government to take a floor test in the Assembly to prove its majority after which the beleaguered chief minister Uddhav Thackeray quit office.
Shinde was sworn in as the newly elected Chief Minister of Maharashtra on June 30.