The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay an Election Commission order recognising the faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as the real Shiv Sena, reported The Hindu.

On February 17, the Election Commission had allocated the bow and arrow symbol to the Shinde-led camp, in a blow to former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, whose father Bal Thackeray founded the outfit in 1966. Thackeray had moved the Supreme Court on Monday challenging the poll body’s decision.

At Wednesday’s hearing, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala allowed the group led by the former chief minister to continue using the name Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and the flaming torch symbol till further orders.

The interim relief was provided in view of the bye-elections in Maharashtra’s Kasba Peth and Chinchwad constituencies that are scheduled to take place on February 26.

Thackeray, in his petition, expressed apprehensions about the Shinde faction taking over the party offices, property and bank accounts, reported The Hindu. Thackeray also sought protection from any action the Shinde faction may take against his grouping by the next date of the Supreme Court hearing.

“This order does not contain anything regarding bank accounts or properties,” the Supreme Court said, reported Live Law. “ECI [Election Commission of India] was deciding the symbol order. Something which is a part of the order we can certainly look upon. This does not form part of the order. ECI order is confined to the allotment of the symbol.”

The court said that the Shinde faction has succeeded before the poll body and the court cannot stay the order without hearing them.

The court said that any other concern of the Thackeray faction has to be resolved through separate legal methods since the present petition only concerns the order by the Election Commission.

The court has given two weeks to the Shinde faction to file a counter-affidavit in the case.