The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Election Commission not to take any action on Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde faction’s claim for recognition as the real Shiv Sena, Live Law reported.
A legal battle is underway between the groups led by Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray to be recognised as the real Shiv Sena. The Thackeray-led faction has filed six petitions in the Supreme Court. It has challenged the governor’s act of administering the oath of office to Shinde and questioned the election of the Maharashtra Speaker, among other things.
On July 22, the Election Commission directed Thackeray and Shinde to submit documents to prove that their faction has the support of the majority of the party members. The Thackeray-led faction had challenged the Election Commission proceedings in the Supreme Court on July 26.
At Thursday’s hearing, a bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli orally directed the poll panel not to decide on the matter.
The Thackeray faction had alleged that the Election Commission did not accept their request to stop its proceedings to avoid any irreversible changes while the court was hearing other Maharashtra crisis cases.
“Despite being asked not to precipitate the matter and stay its hand, the Hon’ble ECI has decided to initiate proceedings...Such proceedings will be in the teeth of settled law that an inquiry into a matter which is sub judice before the court amounts to interference with the judicial proceedings,” the application of the Thackeray team said, The Hindu reported.
On Thursday, the three-judge bench said it will take a call by August 8 on referring the matters related to the political crisis to a constitution bench. The judges asked the Election Commission to give reasonable adjournment to the Thackeray group to file its response, considering that the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.