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Uddhav loyalists approach SC to freeze ECI proceedings on recognising the ‘real’ Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray during the inauguration of new renovated Shiv Sena Sakha 205, in Mumbai, on July 24, 2022.

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray during the inauguration of new renovated Shiv Sena Sakha 205, in Mumbai, on July 24, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Loyalists of the Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray have approached the Supreme Court to freeze the proceedings before the Election Commission of India (ECI) on a plea by filed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for recognition as the “real” Shiv Sena with right to use the party symbol of ‘bow and arrow’.

An application filed by the Thackeray camp alleged that the ECI did not pay heed to their request to stop its proceedings as the multifaceted issue, starting from the breaking away of the Shinde group to the resignation of Mr. Thackeray as Chief Minister and its aftermath, was already in its entirety being examined by the Supreme Court.

The Thackeray camp said the ECI had issued notice to their faction on July 22 despite being told that the apex court had orally sought status quo in the issue in order to avoid any irreversible changes while the court was seized of the case.

“Despite being asked not to precipitate the matter and stay its hand, the Hon’ble ECI has decided to initiate proceedings… Such proceedings will be in the teeth of settled law that an inquiry into a matter which is sub judice before the court amounts to interference with the judicial proceedings,” the application said.

The Thackeray faction has now urged the court to include the ECI as a party in the case.

On July 20, a Bench led by the Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana had queried whether the dissent of Mr. Shinde’s faction, without subsequently forming a new party or merging with another, amounted to a “split” from the original Shiv Sena party.

A “split” from the original political party without a subsequent merger with another party or formation of a new faction is no longer a defence from disqualification under the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law) of the Constitution.

While agreeing to look into this question in depth, the apex court had asked the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker to maintain status quo on the disqualification proceedings against MLAs from both the Shinde and Thackeray factions. The latter group was issued disqualification notices by the Speaker after voting against Mr. Shinde in the floor test. The court had directed the Assembly Secretariat to keep its records in safe custody.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2022 12:14:50 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/uddhav-loyalists-approach-sc-to-freeze-eci-proceedings-on-recognising-the-real-shiv-sena/article65681289.ece