Supreme Court directs EC; Don’t decide on Eknath Shinde camp’s claim now

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Election Commission to not decide on the Shinde camp’s claim to be the real Shiv Sena as of now.

CJI NV Ramana said the bench will take a call by Monday on whether the matter of the Maharashtra political crisis will be sent to a larger bench.

The Election Commission had fixed August 8 to hear the claim of the Eknath Shinde faction. “Let no precipitative action be taken… we are not passing any order. But at the same time, don’t take any precipitative action,” the CJI said.

As the CJI heard all the sides, Kapil Sibal appearing for the Uddhav faction said the Shinde faction MLAs are not members of the party anymore, while Harish Salve, for the Shinde faction, said there is nothing to show that these MLAs have left the party.

“Suppose there are two groups, claiming they are the real political party. Can’t they claim to be recognised as the political party?” the CJI asked.

“They are saying they have the support of 40 out of 50 MLAs. Their argument is therefore they are a political party. If 40 MLAs are disqualified, then what is the basis for their claim?” Sibal said.

“Can 40 MLAs or any legislature party say they are the political party? They are mixing up the legislature party with the political party?” Sibal said.

The Election Commission which was also represented at today’s hearing said as per rule, the EC is bound to decide if a claim is raised by a group. If the MLAs are disqualified, they no longer are members of the Assembly, but not the political party (that they are claiming). The EC also said that whatever happens in the assembly is completely different from the membership of a political party.