The bench, headed by the Chief Justice of India, asked both the sides to file documents, compilations and replies by August 1 and adjourned the matter.
New Delhi: Democracy is in peril and whatever happened in Maharashtra is a mockery of democratic institutions said senior advocate Kapil Sibal to the Supreme Court while appearing for the Uddhav Thackeray camp on Wednesday.
Representing Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his faction, senior advocate Harish Salve said the argument does not fit where a CM (Uddhav) is overthrown by his party members.
The bench, headed by the Chief Justice of India, asked both the sides to file documents, compilations and replies by August 1 and adjourned the matter. It also directed the Maharashtra Speaker to not to deal with the MLA disqualification pleas till then. “I strongly feel some of these issues may require a larger bench,” the CJI said.
The Uddhav Thackeray faction, while challenging the disqualification proceedings initiated against them, told the Supreme Court that Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari should not have sworn in the new government when the apex court was seized of the matter.
Salve said, “What’s wrong with internal party democracy? What’s wrong with questioning the leader of your party by not defecting to some other party but gather enough support within the party. That’s not defection. Can it be argued that someone who doesn’t even have 15-20 MLAs supporting him should be brought back? Saying that a CM has lost the majority in the House isn’t voluntarily giving up membership.”
Salve further added, “Raising your voice within your party without supporting some other party isn’t defection. Membership in a party isn’t an oath of silence.” He also said that the Supreme Court can’t assume the role of a tribunal to decide the disqualification petitions. “The larger-than-life arguments on democracy in peril etc doesn’t square up when a CM has been overthrown by his own party members,” Salve said.