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SC to hear on July 20 plea of Thackeray camp against disqualification proceedings

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday posted for hearing the petition filed by the Uddhav Thackeray-led camp challenging the initiation of disqualification proceedings against them by the Speaker, along with the other petitions related to Maharashtra's political crisis on July 20.

Senior advocate Devdutt Kamat mentioned the matter for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, which posted it along with other pending pleas coming up for hearing on Wednesday.

"Maharashtra matters are listed on Wednesday. Request for tagging the same along with them," Kamat told the bench.

A bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli is slated to hear on Wednesday the pleas filed by the Uddhav Thackeray-led camp and Eknath Shinde camp.

Earlier, the top court had asked the Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Rahul Narwekar not to take any action on the new disqualification notices issued against the members of Shiv Sena.

It had asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Maharashtra Governor, to inform its direction to the newly-appointed Assembly Speaker.

The order of the bench had come after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Uddhav Thackeray camp, mentioned the matter for urgent listing of the pleas saying the matters were posted for July 11 but were not listed today.

"The disqualification plea is listed tomorrow before the Speaker. Let there be no disqualification until the matter is decided," Sibal had told the bench.

During the summer vacation, the top court had listed a number of petitions on the Maharashtra political crisis on July 11.

There are various petitions pending before the apex court filed by both the factions of Shiv Sena.
Uddhav Thackeray-led faction had approached the top court challenging the Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari's decision to invite Eknath Shinde to form the government and also the Speaker's election and floor test.

They had also challenged the newly appointed Maharashtra Assembly Speaker's action recognizing the whip of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde group as the whip of Shiv Sena. The plea said the newly appointed Speaker has no jurisdiction to recognize whips nominated by Shinde as Uddhav Thackeray is still the head of the Shiv Sena official party.

Thackeray camp's Sunil Prabhu had filed a plea seeking suspension from the Maharashtra Assembly of new Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and 15 rebel MLAs against whom disqualification pleas are pending.

Shinde group challenged the disqualification notices issued by the Deputy Speaker to 16 rebel MLAs as well as the appointment of Ajay Choudhary as Shiv Sena Legislature Party leader, which is also pending before the apex court.

On June 29, the top court gave a go-ahead to the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on June 30. Refusing to stay the Maharashtra Governor's direction to the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to prove his majority support on the floor of the House on June 30, the bench had issued notice on Prabhu's plea against floor test.

After the apex court's order, Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation as the Chief Minister and Eknath Shinde was later sworn in as the Chief Minister.

On June 27, the top court had granted interim relief to Shinde and other rebel MLAs to file their reply on disqualification notices issued to them by Deputy Speaker by 12 July, 5:30 pm. Earlier, Deputy Speaker had granted them time to file a reply by 27 June, 5:30 pm. (ANI)

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