‘Can a judge … ‘: Uddhav objects to Maha speaker’s ‘highly improper’ meeting with CM Shinde ahead of verdict on Shiv Sena MLAs’ disqualification plea | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Shiv Sena (UBT) has petitioned the Supreme Court objecting to a meeting between Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde and state assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar, who is scheduled to deliver his verdict on the Shiv Sena MLAs’ disqualification petitions on Wednesday evening. According to reports, Narwekar met Shinde at Varsha, the chief minister’s official residence, on Sunday.
In June 2022, Eknath Shinde had led the rebellion against the then Shiv Sena chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, leading to a split in the party and fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. The disqualification petitions against the rebel MLAs, including Shinde, were filed by Sunil Prabhu, the Shiv Sena party Whip appointed by Uddhav Thackeray on June 23, 2022. The notices of disqualification were issued by deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal in the absence of the speaker.
“If the judge (Narwekar) is going to meet the accused, what should we expect from that judge?” Uddhav Thackeray questioned raising objections to the meeting.
“It is highly improper for the speaker to meet Eknath Shinde just three days before deciding the disqualification petitions filed against Shinde,” the application filed by Sunil Prabhu of Thackeray camp stated. Newspaper clippings were attached to the application in order to highlight the meeting between Narwekar and Shinde.
In its application, the Thackeray faction stated that the Speaker, as the adjudicating authority under the Tenth Schedule, is “required to act fairly and impartially”. It said the conduct of the speaker must inspire confidence and justify the constitutional trust reposed in its high office. “However, the present act of the Speaker raises questions about the fairness and impartiality of the decision-making process,” the application stated.
“The act of the Speaker is in violation of the legal maxim and this application has been filed in view of the alarming news that the Speaker met Shinde at his official residence on January 7, three days prior to the deadline when the decision in disqualification petitions against Shinde is to be pronounced on January 10,” stated the application.
The application said the meeting should be brought to notice to bring it on record and pass the order. The application was filed in the petition pending before the apex court seeking expeditious disposal of disqualification petitions against the Shinde faction. On December 15, 2023, the Supreme Court extended till January 10 the time for the Speaker to pronounce verdict on disqualification petitions against MLAs including Shinde.
‘Govt will remain stable’
Meanwhiel, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that the Shiv Sena-BJP government will remain stable. The senior BJP leader stressed that the alliance government is “legal” and hoped the speaker’s ruling will give justice to them.
“The speaker will take a proper and legal decision. Our side is strong. The government formed by us (BJP and Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde) is legally strong. We expect that we will get justice from the Speaker….Our government was stable yesterday and it will remain stable tomorrow as well,” Fadnavis told reporters in Nagpur
(With inputs from agencies)

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