A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court observed that the issues arising in the petitions filed in relation to the Shiv Sena rift may have to be referred to a larger bench.
The break in the Shiv Sena came out in open after rebel party leader Eknath Shinde, along with several MLAs revolted against the party leadership and joined hands with the BJP and due to which Uddhav Thackeray resigned as chief minister on June 29. A day later, Shinde was sworn in as chief minister with the BJP as his partner.
Senior Adv Kapil Sibal appeared in petitions filed by Uddhav group.
A bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana , Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli also granted time to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led camp to file an affidavit on the pleas filed by Shiv Sena ex Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his group.
The Chief Justice N V Raman said that Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar will maintain the status quo and not decide on any disqualification applications.
As Advocate Sibal said, “Democracy is in danger if governments in any state can be toppled despite the bar under the tenth schedule. The only protection is for merger under para 4 of tenth schedule.”
Senior Advocate A M Singhvi from the Uddhav Thackeray side requested the court to call for the records and immediately decide to strengthen the tenth schedule.
In the mean while Senior Advocate Harish Salve from Eknath Shinde side had pointed out that if a member goes to the Governor and says opposition has to be made to the government, it has been held to be voluntarily giving up membership.
And on the behalf of the objection on point violation of Anti defection law by petitioners, Advocate Salve argued that if after the Chief Minister resigns, and another government is sworn-in, it is not defection.
The court ordered after hearing the counsels and it has been agreed that some issues may if necessary be referred to a larger bench also. Keeping in mind the same, to enable the parties to frame the issues, let them file the same preferably by next Wednesday.