Top court relief for rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, puts a hold on disqualification

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Apex court refuses to order stay floor test, next hearing on July 11

In a relief to rebel Shiv Sena lawmakers, the Supreme Court Monday kept inactive the disqualification proceedings before the Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly till July 11 and sought responses to pleas by rebel MLAs questioning the legality of notices seeking their disqualification.

The top court, however, refused to pass any interim order on the plea of the Maharashtra government that there shouldn't be any floor test within the Assembly and said they'll always approach it just in case of illegality.

A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala directed the Maharashtra government to safeguard the life, liberty, and property of 39 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs and their members of the family.

While issuing notice to the Maharashtra deputy speaker, the highest court directed him to place on affidavit records of the no-trust notice served upon him by rebel MLAs.

The top court also recorded the statement of Maharashtra's counsel that adequate steps are taken to guard the life and property of rebel MLAs.

The matter will now be heard on July 11 

The Supreme Court Monday also issued a notice to Maharashtra deputy Speaker on the pleas of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, led by minister Eknath Shinde, against the disqualification notice issued by him. But the apex court asked the rebel MLAs why they didn't move the Bombay supreme court first.

The vacation bench was told by senior advocate N K Kaul, who appeared for the rebel MLAs, that the Uddhav Thackeray group is within the minority of the legislative party and has been subverting the state machinery .

Kaul said that the atmosphere isn't conducive for these MLAs in Bombay as they need been threatened.

He cited the apex court verdict within the Nabam Rebia case of Arunachal Pradesh and said the deputy speaker isn't competent to proceed with the disqualification of MLAs when a plea for his own removal is pending.Kaul said 39 MLAs are together against the minority group.

Responding to the rebels' argument that Deputy Speaker Narahari Zirwal cannot choose MLAs' disqualification notices when a no-trust vote is pending against him, his counsel Rajeev Dhawan said the no- trust motion was rejected because it was sent via an unverified email address.

To this, Justice Surya Kant asked, "If Deputy Speaker is saying that he's rejecting the motion that seeks his removal, the question is can the Deputy Speaker be the Judge of his own court?"