Eknath Shinde faction member Bharat Gogavale, who is also the chief whip of Shiv Sena party, has moved Bombay High Court challenging the Maharashtra speaker's dismissal of disqualification petitions filed against fourteen MLAs belonging to the Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena..Gogavale has contended that the Uddav Thackeray faction members not only violated the whip but also voluntarily gave up the membership of the Shiv Sena Political Party by their acts and omissions. Speaker Rahul Narwekar had on January 10 dismissed the disqualification petitions filed against MLAs of the Shinde faction by the Uddhav Thackeray faction as well as the disqualification petitions filed by Shinde faction against Thackeray faction..The Shinde faction has claimed that the speaker failed to consider that besides giving up the membership, the Thakceray MLAs also voted against the Shiv Sena government in cahoots with Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) thereby seeking to topple the ruling government during the trust vote which took place on July 4, 2023 in the legislative assembly. ."The final order passed by Speaker erroneously concludes that the grounds as raised by petitioner (Gogavale) are mere allegations and assertions on the part of the petitioner. This conclusion is ex facie illegal and cannot be sustained. The present petition is derived from the fact that members of the Thackeray faction voted contrary to the whip issued by Gogavale who is duly recognized as Chief Whip by the Speaker. This vote is a part of record of the Assembly, and in no manner can be said to be a mere allegation. The Hon'ble Speaker failed to even peruse the reply one filed by Gogavale wherein the Respondent has admitted to allegations of the Petitioner," the petition stated. .The Shinde faction members claimed that the order was illegal, invalid and unconstitutional and they were constrained to approach the High Court.The members have sought to set aside the speaker's order and declare that the members of the Thackeray faction are disqualified from holding the office of MLA. .The petition filed by advocates Chirag Shah and Utsav Trivedi will be heard on January 22 as per High Court website..Interestingly, though the speaker had rejected Shinde faction's plea, he had also rejected Thackeray faction's disqualification plea against Shinde faction MLAs.The speaker had also ruled that Shinde faction is the real Shiv Sena when the split emerged within the party in June 2022, thereby allowing the Shinde faction to remain in power in the State with the support of BJP and the Ajit Pawar faction of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).Interestingly, the Thackeray faction has moved the Supreme Court against the speaker's decision..The case arose from a split in the party in June 2022. Undivided Shiv Sena headed by Uddhav Thackeray was in power in the State in alliance with Congress and the NCP (known as Maha Vikas Aghadi) before Shiv Sena split and came to power under Eknath Shinde in alliance with BJP and Ajit Pawar faction of NCP.Both factions then sought disqualification of the other. The allegation for seeking disqualification were that the members of both factions had not complied with the order of the Chief Whip of the party (persons responsible for organising party’s contribution to the parliamentary business).The speaker came to hear the disqualification petitions after a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court ruled in May 2023 that the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly is the appropriate constitutional authority to decide the disqualification petitions within a reasonable period.It thereafter ordered the Speaker to decide on the matter by December 31, after allegations were made before the top court that the Speaker had been delaying the proceedings.Chief Minister Eknath Shinde led faction of Shiv Sena then claimed before the speaker that his MLAs never received any whip as a whip was never issued. Hence, there was no violation of the whip.The faction also added that they were upset with the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance and that is why they withdrew from the alliance. This act of joining the government did not amount to a violation of the legislative rules inviting disqualification.Uddhav Thackeray led faction of Shiv Sena argued that when the Maha Vikas Aghadi was formed in alliance with Congress and NCP, the rebels did not communicate their opposition.