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Setback for Uddhav Thackeray, SC allows EC to decide 'real' Shiv Sena

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New Delhi, Sep 27: In a setback for Uddhav Thackeray, the Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Election Commission of India to take a decision on which faction of the Shiv Sena is real.

Uddhav Thackeray

Justice D Y Chandrachud, heading a constitution bench, rejected the plea of the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction seeking to restrain the EC from deciding the Shinde group's claim over the "original" Shiv Sena.

"We direct that there would be no stay of the proceedings before the Election Commission," the bench also comprising Justices M R Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and P S Narasimha said.

On August 23, the Supreme Court had referred to a five-judge bench the petitions filed by the Thackeray and Shinde-led factions raising several constitutional questions related to defection, merger and disqualification.

It had asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) not to pass any orders on the Shinde faction's plea that it be considered the "real" Shiv Sena and be granted the party's poll symbol.

A bench headed by the then Chief Justice N V Ramana had said the batch of petitions raise important constitutional issues relating to the 10th schedule of the Constitution pertaining to disqualification, power of the speaker and governor and judicial review.

The 10th Schedule of the Constitution provides for the prevention of defection of the elected and nominated members from their political parties and contains stringent provisions against defections.

The Thackeray faction had earlier submitted that party MLAs loyal to Shinde can save themselves from disqualification under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution only by merging with another political party.

The Shinde group had contended the anti-defection law is not a weapon for a leader who has lost the confidence of his own party.

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