The Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena has moved the Supreme Court challenging Maharashtra speaker Rahul Narwekar's ruling that the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena is the real Shiv Sena and dismissing disqualification petitions against Eknath Shinde and 38 MLAs. .The speaker had 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.This ruling effectively meant that the Shinde faction would continue to remain in power in the State with the support of BJP and the Ajit Pawar faction of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). This has now been challenged before the apex court by the Thackeray faction.Speaker Narwekar in his decision of January 10 had underlined that the Shinde faction had a majority of 37 of 55 MLAs when the rival factions emerged in June 2022 and as a result, Sunil Prabhu ceased to be the whip of the party.Hence, Sunil Prabhu had no authority to call a meeting of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party (SSLP) and underlined that the WhatsApp message calling for the meeting was sent less than 12 hours in advance."A perusal of the Whatsapp message shows that the said message was sent on 12.31 am for a meeting scheduled on 12.30 pm. None of the Shinde faction members were ever served the notice of the meeting. Their disqualification submission is liable to be rejected. The petitioner's case that they are liable to be disqualified must be rejected," the speaker held. Further, he ruled that Bharat Gogavale was validly appointed as whip of the party and Eknath Shinde was validly appointed the leader.."Shinde faction had an overwhelming majority of 37 of 55 MLAs when rival factions emerged. Sunil Prabhu ceased to be the duly whip of the party since the rival faction emerged. Bharat Gogavale was validly appointed as whip of Shiv Sena Party and Eknath Shinde validly appointed as leader of the party," the Speaker had ruled..Further, the speaker ruled that not attending party meetings and voicing differences of opinion outside the house of legislature are matters of party..Narwekar's verdict was delivered on the 34 petitions filed by the two rival factions of Shiv Sena filed against each other seeking disqualification of 54 members of the Assembly.The petitions 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. 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.Former Chief Minister 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.