Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who heads a faction of the Shiv Sena, on Friday said his party believes in judiciary and expects that the Supreme Court will give its verdict in the case related to the June 2022 Maharashtra political crisis based on merit.
Sanjay Raut, a leader of Shiv Sena (UBT), however asserted that the party led by Uddhav Thackeray is the "real" Shiv Sena and truth will prevail when the apex court hears the case on February 21. The Supreme Court on Friday refused to refer pleas related to the June 2022 Maharashtra political crisis triggered by the Shiv Sena's division to a seven-judge bench for reconsideration of the 2016 Nabam Rebia judgement. The 2016 judgment deals with powers of assembly speakers to decide on disqualification pleas. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud said whether the 2016 Nabam Rebia judgement requires reference or not will be considered with the merits of the case on February 21. Reacting to the development, CM Shinde said, "We trust the judiciary. We expect a verdict based on merit. We are a majority government formed legally." The opposition wanted a larger bench to prolong the case hearing, he alleged.
"In a democracy, the majority has a say and our government was formed on that basis. We are working for the welfare of people," he said. Talking to PTI, Raut said his party believes that truth will prevail and justice will be delivered by the apex court. "Governments and political parties cannot be destabilised through use of power and money. We want a clean political system," he said. Rahul Shewale, Shinde faction's group leader in Lok Sabha told reporters that the legal stand of the Thackeray-led Sena was weak. "They wanted to prolong the case. But their stand is weak," he said. Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) does not believe in democratic principles and doesn't trust judiciary, he alleged, and added, "They did all they can to prolong the case in the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of India."
Sanjay Shirsat, an MLA from the Shinde-led faction, welcomed the Supreme Court's refusal to refer pleas seeking a review of its 2016 verdict on speaker's disqualification powers to a seven-judge bench
"It is expected that the final verdict will be given soon," he said.
In 2016, a five-judge Constitution bench, while deciding the Nabam Rebia case of Arunachal Pradesh, had held that the assembly speaker cannot proceed with a plea for disqualification of MLAs if a prior notice seeking removal of the speaker is pending before the House. The judgement had come to the rescue of the rebel MLAs led by Shinde. The Thackeray faction had sought their disqualification even while a notice of the Shinde group for the removal of Maharashtra Assembly Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, a Thackeray loyalist, was pending before the House.
The rebellion led by Shinde in June last year had led to a division in the Shiv Sena. The then Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray collapsed on June 29 and Shinde became the chief minister the next day with senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis taking oath as his deputy.
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