Supreme Court setback for Team Thackeray in the “Real Shiv Sena” case

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Supreme Court setback for Team Thackeray in the "Real Shiv Sena" case

The Supreme Court today declined to halt the Election Commission from choosing who makes up the “genuine” Shiv Sena, dealing Uddhav Thackeray a severe defeat in his battle against ally-turned-rival Eknath Shinde.
The Supreme Court rejected a petition by Uddhav Thackeray’s faction to prevent the Election Commission from deciding the claim of the Eknath Shinde-led group over the “genuine” Shiv Sena and its emblem in a hearing that was live webcast.

After the Shiv Sena, which his father Bal Thackeray had established, was divided by a coup, Uddhav Thackeray’s administration in Maharashtra fell in June. The coup’s leader, Eknath Shinde, later joined the BJP to create a new administration.

On June 30, Mr. Shinde took the oath of office as chief minister, with Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP serving as his deputy.

The renegade MLAs were disqualified, but Team Thackeray petitioned the Supreme Court. The government of Mr. Shinde might face difficulties if the MLAs are declared ineligible.

According to Mr. Thackeray, the Election Commission cannot determine who the “true Shiv Sena” is until the Supreme Court rules on the rebels’ disqualification. According to team Thackeray, if the MLAs are disqualified, they cannot be considered during the symbol dispute processes. They are different procedures; the Supreme Court said, nonetheless.

Of the 55 Shiv Sena MLAs, 40 back Mr. Shinde. 12 out of the 18 MPs also support the Chief Minister.

The Election Commission often evaluates the number of elected MLAs, MPs, and office bearers supporting each side to determine the valid group.

The Uddhav Thackeray and Shinde-led groups filed petitions with the Supreme Court on August 23, citing several constitutional issues regarding defection, merger, and disqualification. A five-judge court heard the cases.

The petitions raise crucial constitutional questions regarding the exclusion of MLAs who defect, the authority of the Speaker and the Governor, and judicial review, according to the court.

The Thackeray group had informed the court that the only way for MLAs who supported Eknath Shinde to avoid being disqualified under the Constitution’s 10th Schedule was to join another political party. Team Shinde contended that a leader who has lost his party’s support could not use the anti-defection statute as a shield.

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