The Supreme Court has asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) not to decide on the application filed by Eknath Shinde and his camp to recognize it as the ‘real Shiv Sena’ or allot it the party symbol, the bow and arrow.
The Supreme Court also told the ECI, that if the Thackeray faction wishes to seek time to file a response petition, it should consider their requests.
The case was heard by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Justice N V Ramana. Hearing both sides, Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Thackeray faction said that the MLA of the Shinde faction were no longer party members. Harish Salve, appearing for the Shinde faction argued that there was nothing to show that the MLAs of the Shinde side had 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.
Sibal had argued that the Shinde faction has the support of 40 out of the 50 MLAs and are claiming to be the ‘real party’. He also asked, “If 40 MLAs are disqualified, then what is the basis for their claim?”
“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 ECI was present in today’s hearing as per the rule. They are bound to take a decision 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.
The Supreme Court said that it may decide on the 8th of August, Monday to take the matter of the Maharashtra political crisis to a five-judge bench.