What are Possible Judgements on ‘Uddhav vs Shinde’?


The Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench will issue its judgement in the Maharashtra political row on Thursday, Live Law has reported.

The Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on a batch of cross-petitions filed by factions led by Uddhav Thackeray and CM Shinde pertaining to the Maharashtra political crisis after hearing arguments advanced on behalf of both sides.

Mumbai | I have got the information that the Supreme Court will pronounce its order tomorrow on the disqualification of 16 MLAs. Everything will be clear tomorrow, I am one of the 16 MLAs too: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay ShirsatThe Constitution Bench of SC is likely to deliver the… pic.twitter.com/0pYQqo29wA

— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2023

The Uddhav Thackeray-led faction has sought disqualification of MLAs of the Shinde camp who split Shiv Sena last June and formed a government with BJP.

Shiv Sena MP Shrikant Shinde, son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, on Tuesday had said he expects a favourable Supreme Court verdict on the political row in the state.

Speaking to reporters at Nagpur airport, the Shinde junior claimed two-thirds of MLAs of (undivided) Shiv Sena are with CM Shinde.

Amid the development, let’s look at the nuances of the case:

What Could Happen?

Two possibilities are being debated for the decision. The first possibility is that the MLAs are not disqualified. Instead, the Supreme Court remands the case to the Speaker of the state legislative assembly. This will aid the Shinde-Fadnavis administration in maintaining the status quo.

The second possibility is that the Court will disqualify the 16 MLAs, including Shinde. Shinde will have to resign immediately in such a case. As a result, the entire process of forming a new government with a new CM is set in motion.

When Shinde requested a trust vote on the floor of the state legislative assembly in July, the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena coalition received the backing of 164 MLAs out of a total of 288.

The ruling alliance quickly passed the halfway point of 145. A BJP leader told the Indian Express that even if the MLAs were disqualified, it would be ‘smooth sailing’ for the saffron party.

Fadnavis’ Comments Incite Curiosity

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis remarked to party workers in Kolhapur two days ago that he would be back soon. “Mi punha yein (I will return),” he had said. The leader had the catchphrase before the 2019 Assembly elections, which had captured the public’s attention.

It had implied at the time that Fadnavis was confident of regaining power as Chief Minister. Although he was eventually obliged to accept the position of deputy CM, his recent remark has many people wondering what it could mean.

There are also questions related to the NCP’s internal turmoil, with political grapevine abuzz with rumours of Ajit Pawar vying for power.

Former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray had reacted to the NCP crisis, assuring that it would not affect the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), three-party alliance comprising even the Congress.

“I don’t think it will have any impact on the MVA… Even from my side we shall not do anything that could create cracks in the alliance,” Thackeray had said interacting briefly with the mediapersons.

Maharashtra Political Row

The Maharashtra political crisis is being heard by a five-judge Constitution bench consisting of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha.

The court had previously deferred the order until all parties had ended their arguments.

The Uddhav Thackeray camp had said the illegal act of the Maharashtra Governor is a prior pending sub judice challenge before the trust vote. Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, who appeared on behalf of the Uddhav Thackeray camp, stated that political parties had precedence in the relationship between the legislature and political parties.

Sibal said the Constitution does not acknowledge any faction, whether majority or minority. Sibal also contended that the opposition occurred outside the House, not inside.

CJI Chandrachud had asked him whether the Governor may look at the number of members who have said they want to withdraw their support. CJI observed that there was a group that did not want to support the then-government and may risk disqualification, which might have an impact on the House’s strength.

Kapil Sibal responded that this used to happen when the Constitution’s tenth schedule did not exist. He stated that the Governor cannot call a trust vote based on a group because trust votes are based on alliances. He stated that some members abruptly decided to withdraw their support.During the hearing, the Supreme Court stated that a merger was not an option for the Shinde camp since a merger would result in the loss of their political identity.

The Supreme Court’s Constitution bench had stated that it would determine later whether to send the Maharashtra political crisis cases to a larger seven-judge bench for review of a 2016 Nabam Rebia judgement on Assembly Speakers’ authority to deal with disqualification petitions.

Various senior lawyers, including Kapil Sibal and AM Singhvi for the Uddhav side and Harish Salve, NK Kaul, and Mahesh Jethmalani for the Shinde camp, testified and made arguments during the nearly nine-day hearing.

Source: www.news18.com


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