Maharashtra Minister Eknath Shinde has filled a petition in Supreme Court to challenge the disqualification notices issued by the Deputy Speaker against rebel MLAs amid the political crisis in Maharashtra brought on by a rebellion by a significant portion of Shiv Sena MLAs, who are currently camped in Assam.
The argument also criticizes the choice of Ajay Chaudhary to succeed Shinde as the Shiv Sena’s House legislative leader. In the disqualification petition filed according to Rule 6 of the MLA Defection Rules, filed by Shinde, the petitioner, the Deputy Speaker has requested that no action be taken and that no further action be taken until the decision to remove the Deputy Speaker has been resolved.
The petition further asked for a directive to detain and declare unlawful and unconstitutional the letter or order dated June 21 that the respondent Deputy Speaker passed recognizing the appointment of the respondent Ajay Choudhary as Leader of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party.
The letter/order dated June 21 passed by the Deputy Speaker recognizing the appointment of Respondent, Ajay Choudhary, as Leader of the Shiv Sena Legislative Party also requested an appropriate directive to suspend its effect and operation.
Additionally, the petition asked the relevant authorities for guidance on how to give protection to the petitioner’s family and all of his Shiv Sena Legislature Party followers (SSLP).
In the petition, Shinde described the actions taken against him and others as an arbitrary and illegal application of Schedule X of the Constitution of India read with the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Grounds of Defection) Rules, 1986 (MLA Defection Rules). He also claimed that the Deputy Speaker’s recognition of Ajay Ch was illegal and unconstitutional.
The petitioner also contested the disqualification proceedings brought about by Respondent Sunil Prabhu, claiming that he lacked the authority to issue any whip after being relieved of his duties as the Shiv Sena Legislature Party’s Chief Whip and that the Deputy Speaker’s subsequent summons dated June 25 was issued without having verified the situation.
The notice dated June 25, 2022, in the disqualification petition against the petitioner was issued by the Deputy Speaker, who presides over the House in the absence of the Speaker.
Shinde claimed that the notice/summon dated July 25, 2022, has wronged him since it is flagrantly illegitimate, unconstitutional, and completely disregards the ruling of the highest court.
Additionally, a temporary stay of the Deputy Speaker’s notice to the petitioner, dated June 25, 2022, was requested in the case.
Meanwhile, Bharat Gogawale and other rebel MLAs have filed yet another appeal, claiming that the summons issued on June 25, 2022, commencing the disqualification process, has wronged them and is thus blatantly unlawful and unconstitutional.