ANI Photo | Decision on 16 MLAs of Shinde camp won’t be taken under pressure: Maharashtra Assembly Speaker

Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar on Tuesday said that he will decide on the disqualification of 16 Shiv Sena MLAs of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s camp on the basis of law and no decision will be taken under pressure.
“I welcome the decision of the Supreme Court, which has given special powers to the Assembly Speaker while giving its verdict in the case of disqualification of 16 MLAs of Maharashtra government,” Narwekar said.
He further said, “As far as decision-making is concerned, I will take this decision as soon as possible. But I will not be in a hurry to take this decision, if I take any decision in haste then it will not be correct.”
Narwekar said that he would not take a decision under anyone’s pressure
“I will take as much time as it takes to take a decision, I will not take a decision under anyone’s pressure. I will take a decision according to the law. It took more than 10 months for the court to take a decision,” he said.
Rahul Narwekar informed that he has not received any application from the Uddhav Thackeray group. He said that there will be no discrimination while taking the decision on the disqualification of the 16 MLAs.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Speaker held a meeting with the officials of Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan.
Narwekar said that five petitions have been filed. “We will make 54 MLAs a party and get them heard. Which political party was there in July 2022…it has to be seen who was representing the authorized party,” he said.
Last week, the Supreme Court held that former Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was “not justified” to call for a floor test based on the request of Eknath Shinde faction since he did not have enough objective material before him to conclude that the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had lost the confidence of the House.
A five-judge Constitution bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices MR Shah, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha said it could not disqualify the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government and reinstate Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minster because the latter had chosen to resign instead of facing a test of strength in the Assembly.
The court said the political imbroglio in Maharashtra arose as a result of party differences within the Shiv Sena.
The judgement of the apex court came on a batch of petitions filed by rival groups of the Shiv Sena in relation to the Maharashtra political crisis.
The Whip has to be appointed by a political party, the top court said. The apex court held that the Speaker’s decision to appoint Bharat Gogawale (Eknath Shinde) as the whip of the Shiv Sena party was illegal.
“The political party and not the legislature party appoints the Whip and the Leader of the party in the House. Further, the direction to vote in a particular manner or to abstain from voting is issued by the political party and not the legislature party. The decision of the Speaker as communicated by the Deputy Secretary to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly dated July 3, 2022, is contrary to law.
The Speaker shall recognise the Whip and the Leader who are duly authorised by the Shiv Sena political party with reference to the provisions of the party constitution, after conducting an enquiry in this regard and in keeping with the principles discussed in this judgement,” it held.
The apex court further said that the Speaker must decide on disqualification petitions within a reasonable time.
It also said that MLA has the right to participate in the proceedings of the House regardless of the pendency of any petitions for their disqualification.
In August last year, the top court’s three-judge bench had referred to a five-judge Constitution bench the issues involved in the petition filed by rival groups of Shiv Sena in relation to the Maharashtra political crisis.
On June 29, 2022, the top court gave a go-ahead to the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on June 30. It had refused 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.
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.

This report is filed by ANI news service.

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