Days after the Shiv Sena (UBT) approached the Supreme Court for an early decision on disqualification petitions against 16 Shiv Sena MLAs, including Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Narvekar has said that the court should set a deadline for the Speaker to decide on the matter. Can’t do it.
Last week, a petition filed by Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA Sunil Prabhu alleged that Speaker Narvekar was deliberately delaying the decision despite the apex court’s May 11 verdict.
The plea states that despite the apex court’s clear direction in its May 11 judgment that the pending disqualification petitions should be decided within a reasonable period, the Speaker has decided not to hold a single hearing.
Prabhu, as chief whip of the undivided Shiv Sena, had filed a disqualification petition in 2022 against Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other Sena legislators, which in June last year forged an alliance with the BJP to form a new government.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Narvekar said, “The court cannot fix a time limit for the Speaker to decide on the matter as law and legislature are two different bodies of our democracy. Even if it happens, I have the right not to accept the notice to that effect. cannot compel it to take a decision within a specified time frame.”
Asked how much time he needed to take a decision on the matter, Narvekar said what happened in Maharashtra was “unprecedented”.
”I don’t have any guidelines on such incident from any other state. Therefore, it is complex and important for me to decide on such a matter,” he said.
Narvekar said notices have been issued to legislators of both the Sena factions and if he receives a petition seeking more time to respond, he will take a decision on it based on the request material.
Asked when he would take a decision on the recent rebellion in the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Narvekar said, “I will go through the chronological order of the petitions filed before the Speaker’s office. I cannot select any particular plea.” On May 11, the Supreme Court ruled that Eknath Shinde would continue as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
The top court said it cannot restore the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government led by Uddhav Thackeray as the Shiv Sena leader decided to resign without facing a floor test in the wake of Shinde’s rebellion.
Narvekar said on Saturday that notices have been issued to 40 MLAs of the CM Shinde-led Shiv Sena and 14 of the Uddhav Thackeray faction, seeking their response on disqualification petitions against them.
These MLAs have been given seven days to file their reply, he said.
Narvekar had earlier said that he has received a copy of Shiv Sena’s constitution from the Election Commission of India and the hearing on disqualification petitions against 16 Shiv Sena MLAs, including CM Shinde, would begin soon.
Former CM Thackeray had recently said that the Supreme Court has already given a roadmap to the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker.
”The Speaker has to take a decision on the issue of disqualification within the given framework. If he tries to circumvent it, the doors of the Supreme Court are always open for us,” said the Shiv Sena (UBT) leader.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI,