The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the Election Commission’s order to allot the name ‘Shiv Sena’ and the ‘Bow and Arrow’ symbol to the faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, saying, “we can’t stay an order at this stage”. The SC clarified that the Uddhav Thackeray camp can pursue other remedies of law if any action is taken which is not based on the EC order.
The top court listed the matter after two weeks. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal insisted on SC granting interim relief and said that they are taking office after office and urged the court to pass a status quo order.
Supreme Court asked rival camp Eknath Shinde to file a reply to the petition. On Tuesday, Kapil Sibal urged the Supreme Court to hear the plea on Wednesday, submitting that if the EC decision is not contested and challenged, the rival faction will take over everything, including the party’s bank accounts, among other things.
CJI Chandrachud said, “It will not disrupt the Constitution Bench hearing because three judges are waiting for them.” He added that he would finish the Constitution Bench hearing on the Maharashtra political crisis and take it up the plea contesting the EC’s ruling on the Sena symbol thereafter on Wednesday. The court said that it will read the matter first.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena moved the Supreme Court challenging the EC’s move to allot the name ‘Shiv Sena’ and ‘Bow and Arrow’ symbol to the rival faction led by CM Shinde. Uddhav, in his plea filed on Monday, said that ECI failed to consider that his faction enjoys the majority in the Legislative Council and Rajya Sabha.
Uddhav Thackeray in the plea, also submitted that the legislative majority alone, in this case, could not be the basis for passing of the order by EC. Challenging the EC decision, Uddhav Thackeray said the poll panel was erroneous in its decision and said that, “the entire edifice of the impugned order (EC’s decision) is based upon the purported legislative majority of the Respondent (Shinde) which is an issue to be determined by the top court in the Constitution Bench”.
“The ECI has failed to consider that the Petitioner enjoys a majority in the Legislative Council (12 out of 12) and Rajya Sabha (3 out of 3). It is submitted that in a case of this kind where there is a conflict even in the legislative majority i.e., Lok Sabha on the one hand and Rajya Sabha on the other as well as Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, more particularly, having regard to the fact that there is a possibility of the alleged members losing their right of membership, the legislative majority alone is not a safe guide to determine as to who holds the majority for the purposes of adjudicating a petition of the Symbols Order,” the plea said.