The Supreme Court is expected to rule on a request from Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena to refer the five-judge court ruling in the 2016 Nabam Rebia case to a seven-judge bench. On Thursday, the court reserved judgement and questioned whether it could consider whether the prior judgement was correct in the absence of the factual circumstances surrounding the Maharashtra political crisis. The Thackeray faction said that the ruling that limited the Speaker’s ability to consider a disqualification petition while a resolution of his own removal was under consideration was prone to abuse for the benefit of defections.
DY Chandrachud, the Chief Justice of India, presided over a five-judge panel that was hearing petitions pertaining to the political events in Maharashtra that led to the state’s formation in July 2022 as a result of a split between the Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray factions of the Shiv Sena party. The government was altered. For three days, the bench, which also included Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha, heard arguments regarding the necessity of the reference.
In Nabam Rebia, it was decided that the Speaker would be ineligible to decide disqualification petitions under the Anti-defection Law if a notice for removal under Article 179(c) of the Constitution is now ongoing (10th Schedule to the Constitution). The attorneys for the Uddhav group have questioned whether this strategy is appropriate in the current instance. The Shinde side maintains that no references are necessary.
After hearing from a number of attorneys from the Thackeray faction led by veteran attorney Kapil Sibal and the Eknath Shinde group represented by Harish Salve, the five-judge bench chaired by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud concluded the point-of-reference arguments. “We have seen how troublesome the Nabam Rebia can be,” the bench remarked. The ruling established a fundamental idea. We must be certain that it strictly arises in this situation before we start to review it. “If the Speaker were prohibited by this court from exercising power, Nabam would be correct.” The Speaker in this case (the Maharashtra crisis) may have done so due to a need for political expediency. The Speaker only provided dissident MLAs with a two-day notice on a petition for disqualification. The reply deadline was extended by this court. A vote on trust is conducted in the interim. The government claims that it would rather quit than deal with it.
Said Sibal “Even if the Chief Minister is in the minority, he might still be removed from office.” “You leave the house, participate in the election, and then return.” Sibal said that if the issue were so urgent, the Speaker would have had less time when the CJI noted that the Court’s decision from June 27 was likely made because only two days’ notice had been given by the Speaker. The grounds for the speaker’s removal must be stated in the notice. Sibal further stated that the notice requesting the speaker’s dismissal must include a justification and cannot merely be an indication of “lack of confidence.” “The notice must be tailored to the allegations,” he stated. because there is a stigma attached. The word “removal” is used in the Constitution. It’s not “trust,” either. As a result, it is not considered a notification under the law. This petition was ineligible for filing.