8 December 2022

New Delhi : In a setback to Uddhav Thackeray – led Shiv Sena faction , the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected its plea and allowed the Election Commission to go ahead with its proceedings on intra – party dispute between Thackeray and Eknath Shinde camps to decide which one is the original party and entitled to get the party’s ‘ bow and arrow ‘ symbol.

SC allows EC to decide
SC allows EC to decide

A five judge constitution bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud , MR Shah , Krishna Murari , Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha passed a brief order after hearing arguments from both the factions and also the Election Com mission . ” There shall be no stay on the proceedings be fore the commission , ” the bench said in its very brief order dictated in open court and allowed the poll panel to : decide the proceedings initiated by the Eknath Shinde led Sena faction seeking validation of their group as the ” real ” Shiv Sena to wrestbol .

During the five – and – half hours proceeding in the apex court , senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi contended that proceedings pertaining to disqualification of Shinde and other Shiv Sena MLAs from his faction was inter linked with the plea before the Election Commissioning and said that matter pertain disqualification should be first adjudicated .

Their plea was strongly opposed by senior advocates Neeraj Kishan Kaul , Maninder Singh and Mahesh Jethmalani , appearing for Shinde and other MLAs of his camp , who said the over whelming majority of the party was with them and Thackeray camp was in ” hopeless minority . ” They contended that the MLAs including Shinde would continue to be members of Shiv Sena even if they got dis qualified as disqualification in the House is only from legislative party and not from the political party .

But it was the EC submissions which was most crucial and which perhaps tilted the balance in favour of Shinde camp as it submitted that proceedings before it had nothing to do with pending disqualification and it should be allowed to decide the issue . Senior advocate Arvind Datar submitted that the poll body is bound by the Representation of the People Act , 1951 and Election Symbols ( Reservation and Allotment ) Order , 1968 whose regulation 15 says that if any group of members of a political party claim they are the real political party , then the EC is duty bound to give notice to other side , hear everybody and then decide .

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