Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

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Uddhav Thackeray had resigned as Chief Minister following a revolt in his party.

New Delhi:
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will get to keep his job despite gaining from an illegal decision by the then governor, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, in a setback for Uddhav Thackeray over last year’s Shiv Sena mutiny.

Here are the 10 latest developments in the case:

  1. The Supreme Court said it cannot disqualify Mr Shinde and 15 other MLAs for revolting against then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in June last year. That power will rest with the speaker until a larger panel of judges rules on it.

  2. It also rejected a request to restore Mr Thackeray’s government because the leader had chosen to resign instead of facing a test of strength in the assembly.

  3. The court, however, strongly censured then Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, for taking decisions that helped Mr Shinde’s faction, saying he had “erred” in concluding that Mr Thackeray had lost the support of the majority of MLAs.

  4. “The governor did not have any objective material and the exercise of discretion of the governor in this case was not in accordance with the law,” the court said.

  5. Dodging questions on the sharp comments by the court, Mr Koshyari told reporters on Thursday, “I am not a law student. I did what I thought was right at that time. What can I do when I have someone’s resignation?”

  6. Commenting on the verdict, Mr Thackeray said, “Eknath Shinde won after murdering democracy. He should resign as Chief Minister, as I did.” Sanjay Raut, his top aide, called it a “moral victory”.

  7. Eknath Shinde said, “In democracy, importance is given to the majority. Today’s decision proves that the government that we formed, we did it legally and constitutionally.” His deputy, Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP, said, “You [Uddhav Thackeray] got elected in an alliance with the BJP, and then formed a government with the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) and Congress. Where did your morals go then? You left ideology for power. Shinde left power and joined us in the opposition for ideology.”

  8. Mr Thackeray had asked the top court to settle the tussle after Mr Shinde, backed by the opposition BJP, split the Shiv Sena and led most of the MLAs to form a new government. If Mr Shinde were disqualified, he would have had to resign as Maharashtra Chief Minister and his government will be disbanded.

  9. The decision was delivered by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud who clustered eight petitions on the face-off. Senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued for Uddhav Thackeray’s team in the court while Harish Salve, Neeraj Kaul, and Mahesh Jethmalani represented Eknath Shinde’s camp.

  10. Ruling on the tussle in February, the Election Commission had awarded the Shiv Sena party name and its bow-and-arrow symbol to Mr Shinde. Mr Thackeray’s smaller faction was given the name Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray and the symbol of a flaming torch.

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