New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly to take a decision on the disqualification petitions against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde faction at least before the next election.
The Court told him he must give the impression that he is taking the matter seriously.
A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said that since June there is no action in the matter and these hearings before the election tribunal should not be reduced to a charade.
"The writ of this court has to run. If we don’t find a proper time schedule, we will issue an order," the bench said.
"We are concerned that our order is not being implemented. The decision should be taken at least before the next election, and the idea should not be to let this go on merrily so that ultimately you render all this infructuous,” the bench added.
The Court has sought a definite schedule on Tuesday to decide the disqualification petitions.
The bench expressed its displeasure with the Maharashtra Speaker for laying down a long schedule for hearing of the disqualification petitions filed by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde factions of the Shiv Sena against each other under anti-defection law.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the Thackeray faction, said that this is 'becoming a farce'.
The bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to advise the Speaker, as he cannot defeat the orders of the apex court.
Mehta said the Speaker is exercising powers under the Tenth Schedule as a tribunal. He also asked if the apex court can interfere with its day-to-day functioning at the instance of the petitioner.
The bench pointed out that the Court issued notice in July and an order was passed in September, and that now after noting that the Speaker has not taken requisite steps, it is "constrained to say that he must take a decision in two months”.
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Shinde faction, objected to the apex court passing the directions to the Speaker to take a decision.
The apex court has fixed the matter for further hearing on Tuesday on an application by the Thackeray faction seeking expeditious decision by the speaker on disqualification petitions filed by them against the Shinde faction.
Along with the Thackeray faction petition, a petition by Jayant Patil, member of Sharad Pawar-faction of the Nationalist Congress Party, was also listed before the apex court.
The plea has sought a direction to the Speaker of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly to expeditiously decide their petitions seeking disqualification of rebel MLAs led by Ajit Pawar under the anti-defection law.