The Supreme Court today passed an interim order on the Petitions filed by Eknath Shinde and other rebel MLAs of Shiv Sena challenging the disqualification notices issued by the Deputy Speaker under the tenth schedule of the Constitution alleging defection.

The Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice J B Pardiwala passed an order extending the time for filing replies to the disqualification notices issued by the Deputy Speaker to the rebel MLAs till 5.30 pm on July 12. The Deputy Speaker had given time only till 5.30 pm today.

The Court has also ordered that the state should afford adequate protection to the 39 rebel MLAs and their family, in the light of the submission that there is violence against their houses.

Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul appeared for the Petitioners in both the writ petitions.

Neeraj Kaul argued that the Deputy Speaker should not have proceeded with the disqualification notices when his own removal is under process. He argued that the Deputy Speaker has ignored the 2016 Judgment of the Supreme Court in the matter of Nabam Rebia vs Deputy Speaker & Ors., even though the same was placed before him.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for Shiv Sena and submitted that the notice for removal of the Deputy Speaker has not been verified. He argued that it has been sent from an unverified email and that it cannot be treated as valid notice. He argued that the Judgment in Nabam Rebia's case will not apply to the present situation.

Singhvi was assisted by Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat.

Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan appeared for the Deputy Speaker and submitted that he has received notice from an unverified account sent by Advocate Vishal Acharya. He said that the Deputy Speaker has issued a reply seeking validation of the notice.

Dhavan also said that the Deputy Speaker will consider the notice if he receives a valid notice. He said that a "fly-by-night" notice is not sufficient.

The Bench told Dhavan that "Sometimes the haste (by Deputy Speaker) gives undesirable and unavoidable inferences".

Even though the Court was initially reluctant to entertain the petitions citing that the petitioners had not approached the High Court, the Court said that important issues arise in the writ petitions and it will be heard in detail on July 11. The Bench has fixed timelines for completion of pleadings by then.

Eknath Shinde, the Minister of Urban Development of the state approached the Supreme Court on Sunday evening, challenging the rejection of the no-confidence motion moved against Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Narhari Zirwal, who belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

The Deputy Speaker issued the disqualification notices as the post of Speaker is vacant. The Petition also says that the action of the Deputy Speaker recognising Ajay Choudhury as the leader of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party is illegal. The plea states that the disqualification proceedings should not proceed until the issue relating to the removal of the Deputy Speaker is decided.

Click here to read/download Order