New Delhi: Days after the Supreme Court came down heavily on Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar over the four-month delay in deciding the disqualification petitions filed against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his camp, the Speaker on Monday heard both factions of the Shiv Sena on the procedural part and scheduled the official hearing for October 13.
Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray faction had knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court after the Speaker dragged his feet in deciding on disqualification of lawmakers who aligned with the Shinde group.
On September 18, a bench led by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud remarked that the Speaker has to abide by the dignity of the apex court and directed him to hear the pleas within a period of one week.
A Constitution Bench judgment in May had directed that the Maharashtra Speaker “must decide disqualification petitions in a reasonable time” against Shiv Sena MLAs, including Shinde, who were accused of anti-party activities. On July 4, a petition was moved by Shiv Sena-UBT leader Sunil Prabhu in the Supreme Court alleging that the Speaker is delaying in deciding the disqualification pleas to permit “the illegal continuance of Eknath Shinde as Chief Minister, against whom the disqualification petitions are pending”.