SC agrees to hear Uddhav Thackeray faction's plea against EC's decision on Wednesday

Terming the apex poll body's order allowing Shinde faction to use the Shiv Sena party’s name & symbol as tainted, the former CM's plea stated that it has acted in a manner that undermines its status.

Published: 21st February 2023 11:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2023 02:07 PM   |  A+A-

Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray addresses a press conference at Shiv Sena Bhavan in Mumbai, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will hear the plea by Former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray against the Election Commission of India (ECI)'s order of allotting Shiv Sena’s name & symbol to Eknath Shinde on Wednesday.

Urging the bench to list the plea before the constitution bench, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal requested to pass some protective order. 

“It’s against the order of the ECI. It’s based on 38 members. If this is not stayed - they’ll take over everything. It’ll also lead to disqualification. Bank accounts. Please take it up tomorrow morning before constitution bench so that some protective order can be passed,” Sibal said. 

Considering Sibal’s contention the CJI said, “We won’t disrupt the constitution bench tomorrow. We will finish the constitution bench, give us some sort of an idea so that we can slot it after the constitution bench. We’ll take it tomorrow. We’d like to read the matter.” 

Senior Advocate AM Singhvi had attempted to make an unscheduled mention before a bench of CJI DY Chandrachud on Monday. Refusing to grant urgent mentioning, CJI DY Chandrachud asked him to mention the same on Tuesday. 

Terming the ECI’s order as tainted and ex facie erroneous, Uddhav’s plea while seeking a stay stated that apex poll body has acted in a manner that undermines its constitutional status. 

It was also contended that the ECI erred in holding that there is a split in the political party and has failed to appreciate that Uddhav faction enjoys overwhelming support in the rank and party’s file. 

“The test of legislative majority adopted by the ECI could not have been applied at all in view of the fact that the disqualification proceedings were pending against the legislators supporting the Respondent. If in the disqualification proceedings, the legislators are held to be disqualified, there is no question of these legislators then forming a majority. Thus, the basis of the impugned order itself is constitutionally suspect,” the plea stated. 

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It was also stated in the plea that edifice of the ECI's order was based on Shinde faction’s purported legislative majority which was an issue to be determined by the Constitution bench. 

Since the ECI on Friday while allowing Shinde faction to use party’s name & symbol “bow & arrow” had relied on the test of majority in the legislative assembly, the plea stated that legislative majority alone, in this case, could not be the basis for passing its order. The apex poll body had noted that outcome of the majority in the legislative wing reflected clearly qualitative superiority in Shinde’s favour.

“The ECI has failed to consider that the Petitioner enjoys majority in the Legislative Council (12 out of 12) and Rajya Sabha (3 out of 3). It is submitted that in a case of this kind where there is a conflict even in the legislative majority i.e., the Lok Sabha on one hand and Rajya Sabha on the other as well as Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, more particularly, having regard to the fact that there is a possibility of the alleged members losing their right of membership, the legislative majority alone is not a safe guide to determine as to who holds the majority for the purposes of adjudicating a petition under Para 15 of the Symbols Order,” the plea had also stated. 

Shinde faction on Saturday had filed a caveat in top court wherein they had urged SC to not pass any “ex parte orders” without hearing it. 

ALSO READ | Shiv Sena legislative party office at Vidhan Bhavan belongs to us: Shinde faction chief whip


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