Supreme Court Pressures Maharashtra Speaker to Expedite Disqualification Petitions

Supreme Court Pressures Maharashtra Speaker to Expedite Disqualification Petitions
Supreme Court Pressures Maharashtra Speaker to Expedite Disqualification Petitions
Supreme Court Pressures Maharashtra Speaker to Expedite Disqualification Petitions
Supreme Court Pressures Maharashtra Speaker to Expedite Disqualification Petitions

Supreme Court Pressures Maharashtra Speaker to Expedite Disqualification Petitions

Supreme Court Pressures Maharashtra Speaker to Expedite Disqualification Petitions. Image/ EPS

In a significant development, the Supreme Court of India has issued a directive to the Maharashtra assembly speaker, Rahul Narwekar, to provide a clear timeline within one week for the resolution of disqualification petitions filed against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Shiv Sena MLAs who aligned with the BJP to form a new government in June 2022.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, referred to its May 11 verdict related to the Maharashtra political crisis. In that ruling, the Supreme Court had instructed the speaker to decide on disqualification petitions within a reasonable timeframe. The current directive emphasizes the speaker’s obligation to respect the court’s dignity and abide by its verdict.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the speaker, has been tasked with conveying the specific timeframe that the assembly speaker will set for the resolution of the disqualification petitions. The Supreme Court expressed its expectation that the directions issued by the court should be followed with due respect.

The bench emphasized that the speaker, as a tribunal under the tenth schedule of the Constitution, falls under the jurisdiction of the court. It noted that no progress had been made regarding the pending disqualification petitions since the May 11 judgment.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) faction, led by Uddhav Thackeray, had approached the Supreme Court in July, seeking an order to instruct the state assembly speaker to expedite the adjudication of the disqualification petitions within a stipulated time frame. Sunil Prabhu, a Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MLA who had filed the disqualification petitions against Chief Minister Shinde and other MLAs in 2022 when he served as the chief whip of the undivided Shiv Sena, alleged deliberate delays by Speaker Rahul Narwekar in addressing these petitions despite the earlier Supreme Court ruling.

This directive underscores the importance of adhering to the court’s orders and expediting the resolution of political disputes in the state.

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