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Maharashtra political crisis: Shinde camp appeals to SC to hear plea on Uddhav faction stalling EC proceedings

Although the Supreme Court had said the case will be heard on August 25 by the Constitution bench, the matter hasn't come up for hearing yet.

Maharashtra political crisis: Shinde camp appeals to SC to hear plea on Uddhav faction stalling EC proceedings

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it may list tomorrow for hearing the cases filed by rival groups of Shiv Sena in relation to the Maharashtra political crisis. A bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat said it may list the matters for hearing on Wednesday after senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, appearing for the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde group, sought an urgent hearing of the matter.

"I cannot say off the cuff but certainly by tomorrow something will be there", said CJI Lalit.

While mentioning the matter for urgent hearing, Kaul said the matter was referred to a five-judge Constitution Bench by the apex court, and the proceedings before the Election Commission of India to determine the `real` Shiv Sena have been stalled. Apprising the bench about upcoming local body polls in the State, Kaul said there is a need to urgently resolve the issue.

In August, the top court`s three-judge bench had referred to a five-judge Constitution bench the issues involved in the petition filed by rival groups of Shiv Sena in relation to the Maharashtra political crisis.

The apex court had said the case will be heard on August 25 by the Constitution bench, but the matter has not come up for hearing yet. It had also ordered the Election Commission of India not to decide till August 25 on the application filed by the Eknath Shinde camp for recognition as the `real` Shiv Sena party and allotment of the bow and arrow symbol to it.

The top court, on the request of senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for the Uddhav Thackeray camp, had posted the matter before the Constitution bench on August 25 for the interim relief on Shiv Sena`s symbol issue.

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What did the Uddhav Thackeray-led camp of Shiv Sena 'stall'?

Uddhav Thackeray-led camp of Shiv Sena had sought a stay on the proceedings before the Election Commission of India on Eknath Shinde group`s claim for recognition as `real` Shiv Sena. The order of the apex court came on several pleas filed by both the factions of Shiv Sena.

Earlier, the Supreme Court three-judge bench had said that some of the issues involved in the Maharashtra political crisis may require a larger Constitutional bench for consideration.

It had also asked the Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Rahul Narwekar not to take any action on the new disqualification notices issued against the members of Shiv Sena.

Pending petitions before SC by both factions of Shiv Sena

There are various petitions pending before the apex court filed by both the factions of Shiv Sena. The Thackeray-led faction had approached the top court challenging Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari`s decision to invite Eknath Shinde to form the government and also the Speaker`s election and floor test. Later they challenged the Shinde group approaching the poll panel claiming they are `real` Shiv Sena.

They had also challenged the newly appointed Maharashtra Assembly Speaker`s action recognizing the whip of the Eknath Shinde group as the whip of Shiv Sena. The plea said the newly appointed Speaker has no jurisdiction to recognize whips nominated by Shinde as Uddhav Thackeray is still the head of the Shiv Sena official party.

Thackeray camp`s Sunil Prabhu had filed a plea seeking suspension from the Maharashtra Assembly of new Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and 15 rebel MLAs against whom disqualification pleas are pending.

Shinde group challenged the disqualification notices issued by the Deputy Speaker to 16 rebel MLAs as well as the appointment of Ajay Choudhary as Shiv Sena Legislature Party leader, which is also pending before the apex court.

Uddhav Thackeray's resignation as CM

On June 29, the top court gave a go-ahead to the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on June 30. Refusing to stay the Maharashtra Governor`s direction to the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to prove his majority support on the floor of the House on June 30, the bench had issued notice on Prabhu`s plea against floor test.

After the apex court`s order, Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation as the Chief Minister, and Eknath Shinde was later sworn in as the Chief Minister.

On June 27, the top court granted interim relief to Shinde and other rebel MLAs to file their reply to disqualification notices issued to them by Deputy Speaker by July 12. Earlier, Deputy Speaker had granted them time to file a reply by June 27.

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