The Supreme Court has taken action in response to a plea filed by the Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, accusing Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar of intentionally delaying the decision on petitions seeking the disqualification of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) who aligned with the BJP to form a new government in June 2022.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, along with Justices PS Narasimha and Manoj Mishra, issued a notice to Rahul Narwekar and requested a response from the Maharashtra Assembly’s office within two weeks. Senior advocate Devadutt Kamat, representing the petitioners, informed the bench that the Speaker had been deliberately delaying the disqualification proceedings, and the notice was sent only after the writ petition was filed. The petition highlighted that any unjustifiable delay on the part of the Speaker in deciding the disqualification petitions contributes to and perpetuates the constitutional violation of defection committed by the concerned members.
Earlier this month, the Shiv Sena (UBT) approached the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Assembly Speaker to expedite the hearing of the disqualification petitions.
The notice issued by the Supreme Court marks an important development in the case, highlighting the significance of expeditious resolution and the adherence to constitutional principles in matters of disqualification of elected representatives. The response from the Maharashtra Assembly’s office within the stipulated time will provide further clarity on the proceedings and the course of action to be taken in this matter.