Sena vs Sena: SC gave a ‘hammer blow’ to Speaker for delaying tactics, says Uddhav camp

Sena vs Sena: SC gave a ‘hammer blow’ to Speaker for delaying tactics, says Uddhav camp

Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narwekar. File

Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narwekar. File
| Photo Credit: PTI

After the Supreme Court on Friday rapped Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narwekar yet again for procrastinating the hearing over the disqualification proceedings against the ruling Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena MLAs, the Opposition Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) said that the top court had exposed Mr. Narwekar’s “frivolous attitude” towards the law and the Constitution.

Remarking that the time had come for the ruling Shinde government to go, Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut said that the SC had dealt Mr. Narwekar “a hammer blow” for his foot-dragging over the hearings on the disqualification petitions.

“He [Mr. Narwekar] has tried his best to save this illicit Eknath Shinde-led government. However, now the time has come for it to go. I am confident that this government will fall before 2024,” said Mr. Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP.

Lauding the Chief Justice of India (CJI), D.Y. Chandrachud, for pulling up the Speaker for his delaying tactics over the disqualification proceedings, Mr. Raut said that Mr. Narwekar behaved as if he was the law and the Constitution.

“Each time, the Speaker says he won’t delay the judgement on the disqualification petitions. He [Mr. Narwekar] is only intent on saving an illicit government and he bows before Delhi’s orders. He [Narwekar] is occupying a Constitutional post and should not take it lightly,” said the Sena (UBT) leader, taking aim at the BJP-ruled Centre.

The CJI had ticked-off the Speaker for reducing the anti-defection proceedings against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other MLAs to a “charade”, while warning that he could not “merrily” defer the hearings.

Sena (UBT) leader Anil Parab, who was present in Delhi today for the SC hearing, said that Mr. Narwekar had been dragging his foot on the matter for the last six months despite the SC already telling him clearly that he must adjudicate within a reasonable time frame.

“The SC has clearly expressed its displeasure at the Speaker’s procrastination. The last time it had directed him to give a time-schedule, yet he [Narwekar] had indulged in delaying tactics. The CJI’s remarks make clear that these tactics have not gone down well with the apex court at all,” Mr. Parab said.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule, who was present in Delhi as well, expressed faith that the SC would give justice to both the Shiv Sena (UBT) and her party (Sharad Pawar-led NCP faction).

“This is a fight for truth. This is an issue of moral right. I am sure the SC will give justice to both the Shiv Sena and the NCP,” she said.

Last month, the Supreme Court had rebuked Mr. Narwekar for delaying the adjudication, while directing him to announce within a week the date for the ruling on the disqualification petitions filed by the Sena factions. The SC had observed that nothing had been done thus far despite its direction to the Maharashtra Speaker to decide the pleas within a reasonable time.

On May 11, the Supreme Court had ruled that Mr. Shinde will continue to be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra while stating it could not reinstate the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government headed by Mr. Thackeray as the latter chose to resign without facing a floor test in the wake of Shinde’s rebellion.

However, the SC judgment had questioned the then Governor B.S. Koshyari’s action of calling for a floor test in order to solve an intra-party dispute. It also held that the appointment of Bharat Gogawale (of the Shinde faction) as the whip of the Sena was illegal.

In July, Mr. Narwekar had issued notices to 40 MLAs of the Shinde-led Sena and 14 legislators of the Thackeray faction, seeking their replies on disqualification petitions filed against them.

It was only on September 14 that the first hearing on the disqualification petitions finally got under way.

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