Chief Whip of Shiv Sena, Sunil Prabhu moved the Supreme Court seeking suspension of 16 rebel Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) till the final adjudication of the disqualification proceedings initiated against them by the Deputy Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly [Eknath Sambhaji Shinde v Deputy Speaker, Maharashtra].
The application was mentioned by Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal before a bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala today morning.
"There is no merger. Moment he is sworn is he has violated the 10th schedule. So he is not the party. It is ex facie it is not a dance of democracy", the senior counsel said.
Justice Surya Kant assured the counsel that the court was not shutting its eyes, and would hear the case as listed on 11 July.
"We will take it up on July 11. List the IA along with other pleas and circulate it among parties. Rest assured we will look into this."
The application has sought directions to suspend the MLAs and restrain them from entering the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly or participating in any proceeding relating to the House till the deputy Speaker’s decision.
The plea said that the Tenth Schedule should not be rendered toothless by the ingenious device of sending a pre-planned notice for removal of a Speaker in order to pre-empt and thwart the Tenth Schedule proceedings.
“This would ensure that the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution is not rendered toothless by the ingenious device of sending a pre-planned notice requiring the removal of a Speaker in order to pre-empt and thwart the Tenth Schedule proceedings,” the application said.
Prabhu’s plea said that Eknath Shinde becoming the Chief Minister (CM) and Devendra Fadnavis becoming Deputy CM was a clear reflection that Shinde and the delinquent MLAs had been hand in gloves with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) all along with the aim of bringing down the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
Further, it was stated that as a reward for anti-party activity, the BJP offered the post of Chief Minister to Eknath Shinde despite having the largest numbers in the State Assembly. This conduct clearly attracted Para 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, the application stressed.
“The conduct of the delinquents is so egregious and palpable that it does not even require calling for any explanation, but should straightaway lead to termination from the membership of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly of Shri Eknath Shinde along with all the rebel MLAs supporting him," the petition stated.
In fact, it was underscored that despite the rebellion, Shiv Sena remains under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray and there was no dispute regarding the leadership position.
Therefore, the plea urged the Court to decide the issue regarding the interim suspension of the delinquent MLAs particularly since the authority and jurisdiction of the Deputy Speaker had been called into question and consequently, he was injuncted from proceeding for all practical purposes.