SC to hear on July 11 plea against Speaker’s recognition of Shiv Sena chief whip’s appointment

Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar recognised the appointment of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's man Bharat Gogawale as the new chief whip of the Shiv Sena

July 04, 2022 04:31 pm | Updated 06:17 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narvekar’s decision to recognise the Shiv Sena chief whip has been challenged in the Supreme Court. File

Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narvekar’s decision to recognise the Shiv Sena chief whip has been challenged in the Supreme Court. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to list on July 11 a petition filed by Uddhav Thackeray camp loyalist Sunil Prabhu, challenging Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar's decision to recognise the appointment of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's man Bharat Gogawale as the new chief whip of the Shiv Sena.

The petition, mentioned before a Vacation Bench led by Justice Indira Banerjee, came just a day after the election of Mr. Narvekar, a BJP MLA, as Speaker.

Formerly, amidst the dissent within the Sena which ultimately led to Mr. Thackeray's resignation as Chief Minister, Mr. Prabhu had been designated chief whip.

Appearing for Mr. Prabhu, senior advocate A.M. Singhvi argued that the Speaker had no authority whatsoever to recognise whips.

"This changes the status quo of proceedings before this court," Mr. Singhvi submitted.

But the Vacation Bench posted the case on July 11 along with other petitions, including challenges by the Shinde camp against disqualification notices issued by former Speaker and Mr. Narvekar's predecessor, Narhari Zirwal, on June 25 for defection and another filed by the Thackeray camp against the process leading to the Governor's order for a floor test on June 30.

"Let all of this come up together on July 11, 2022," the court said.

Mr. Narvekar, on Sunday, recognised Gogawale as the new chief whip of Shiv Sena and Mr. Shinde as the new Legislature Party leader in the House.

The Thackeray regime had removed Mr. Shinde as the Sena Legislature Party leader and appointed Ajay Chaudhary in his stead along with Mr. Prabhu as chief whip.

The Maharashtra Legislature Secretariat has now cancelled both these appointments.

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