"Intra-Party Dissent No Ground For Defection": Team Shinde To Court

In a Supreme Court battle between the two factions today - Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's camp vs Team Uddhav Thackeray - the Chief Minister's lawyer said Team Thackeray "want the Speaker to be stripped of all powers"

'Intra-Party Dissent No Ground For Defection': Team Shinde To Court

Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray are locked in a fight to control the Shiv Sena

New Delhi:

Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena faction has accused the party's group led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde of "floating a fake narrative to justify their anti-party stand". In a Supreme Court battle between the two factions today, the Mr Shinde faction replied that Team Thackeray "want the Speaker to be stripped of all powers and want Supreme Court to become the defection tribunal. This is unprecedented. This is not where the trial is supposed to take place."

Here are the Supreme Court highlights of Team Eknath Shinde vs Team Uddhav Thackeray:

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Aug 03, 2022 13:39 (IST)
No Actual Disqualification...
Team Shinde
They (Team Thackeray) say the Election Commission cannot go ahead with the proceedings but that is not true. Just because there is disagreement between members of the legislature party, it does not mean that the Election Commission cannot decide on issues. The two are completely unrelated. There is no actual disqualification so far.

Team Thackeray
In defection issues, nobody ever says they have given up membership of the party. So they cannot make that argument that they never declared that.
Aug 03, 2022 13:37 (IST)
On Ideology And Alliances
The questions which are involved would have a wide ranging impact on the body politic of this country. In a past judgement it has been made clear that once somebody goes before the electorate he or she does not go as an individual. You go as an ideology. After winning if you go and form an alliance of a different ideology then you cannot say that the members of the party cannot raise their voice against it.
Aug 03, 2022 13:36 (IST)
Haven't Given Up Party Membership: Team Shinde
Supreme Court to Shinde faction
You came to court first and got time. But now you say that they cannot come to court and everything that they (Thackeray faction) are saying is infructuous now?

Team Shinde
Please do not misunderstand me. That is not what I am saying. I have not given up membership of the original political party.
Aug 03, 2022 13:32 (IST)
Speaker Will Decide It All?
Supreme Court o Team Eknath Shinde
The way which your submissions are leading, you are saying you filed a plea in Supreme Court and then Supreme Court stayed the disqualification, so then you got time and made a Speaker and now Speaker will decide it all?

Team Eknath Shinde
No, that is not the case.

Supreme Court
We cannot say that everything is infructuous now. Let us have a clear adjudication on these issues.

Team Eknath Shinde
We came to this court because the decision by the Deputy Speaker at that point of time was connected to past Supreme Court judgments and we and our families were facing threats.

Supreme Court
Protection is a separate issue. But we have said in the past that matters should go to high court or the Speaker first. Let the Speaker decide, and then you can challenge it.
Aug 03, 2022 13:29 (IST)
Focus On Maharashtra Speaker
Team Eknath Shinde
They want the Speaker to be stripped of all powers and want Supreme Court to become the defection tribunal. This is unprecedented. This is not where the trial is supposed to take place.
Aug 03, 2022 13:25 (IST)
Don't mix Election Commission matters with disqualification
Team Eknath Shinde
The group has gone to EC (Election Commission) and said 'we are the political party'. Let us not mix EC proceedings with disqualification proceedings. Intra party rebellion within the party is different from a group of leaders leaving the party. This intra party issue is not a ground for defection. BMC (civic body) elections are round the corner, so we have to decide who is the party. The Uddhav Thackeray faction is linking things to EC proceedings unnecessarily.

Supreme Court
Who came to court first?

Team Eknath Shinde
We did over notice issued by Deputy Speaker on disqualification. The court had stayed it. Have I given up membership of the political party? No, I have not. Just because I did not come to a party meeting outside does not mean that I am no longer a party member.
Aug 03, 2022 13:20 (IST)
On Intra-Party Dissent...
Supreme Court
So you mean once you are elected political party has no meaning?

Team Eknath Shinde
Intra-party dissent is not ground for defection. We confuse political parties with leaders. So and so party is so and so leader.

Supreme Court
Can you say that since Chief Minister refused to meet you, you decided to form a new political party?

Team Eknath Shinde
We never said there is a new political party. We are not saying that there are two Shiv Senas. We are saying there are two groups within the same Shiv Sena. One leader has lost confidence of the party members.
Aug 03, 2022 13:15 (IST)
What is not grounds for defections...
Team Eknath Shinde
Within the Shiv Sena party there have been changes. There are factual controversies on various issues. The basic premise of the anti-defection law is that when you leave your party, nobody has found that there is disqualification. The Thackeray faction claims disqualification notices but nobody has been disqualified so far. Not attending a party meeting held outside the house is not ground for defection.
Aug 03, 2022 13:11 (IST)
On anti-defection law
Team Uddhav Thackeray
Is anti-defection law even applicable now or is it something that is just on paper now?

Team Eknath Shinde
The anti-defection law is not for a leader who has lost the confidence of his own party members and somehow wants to lock them in and hang on to power.
Aug 03, 2022 13:10 (IST)
'Fruit Of poisonous tree'...
Team Uddhav Thackeray
The only defence that was available to them was if they merged with another political party, but they are not saying they have done that. The constitutional sign of defection is so grave that they should not be recognised as a government. These are the fruits of a poisonous tree and they should not be allowed to continue.
Aug 03, 2022 13:07 (IST)
Why urgency in the case...
Team Thackeray
They (rebel MLAs) were sitting in Guwahati (in Assam) and declaring themselves to be the political party. Their purpose is to legitimise defections. Every act that that they have committed is a violation of rules. The government made in Maharashtra is illegal, so all decisions taken by it will also be illegal. Hence, the urgency in the matter for a resolution.
Aug 03, 2022 13:06 (IST)
Split from original party...
Team Thackeray
A split from the original party is also considered a 'situation'. There are laws for each situation. And laws say they will only be recognised as a separate group but not as a party. But they (Team Shinde) claim they are the political party, which is not true. They have made that statement before the EC (Election Commission).
Aug 03, 2022 13:03 (IST)
Register with Election Commission?
Supreme Court
Let us say if out of 100, 70 MLAs say they are the party themselves, they have to register with Election Commission or go before the Speaker?

Team Thackeray
They have to register with EC (Election Commission) if they form a new party, but no registration if they merge into another party. But issue is also of balance. 1/3rd are still remaining in the party. The 2/3rd cannot say that 'we are the party'.
Aug 03, 2022 12:59 (IST)
What the law says...
Team Thackeray
The laws require that they (Shiv Sena factions) should have merged or formed a new political party.

Supreme Court
But what if 2/3rds come out of the party? They have to form a new party?

Team Thackeray
Yes, either that or get into a merger.