Uddhav camp fields SC lawyer to 'scare' rebel MLAs; another Minister flies off to Guwahati [27.6.22]

Shiv Sena on Sunday fielded senior Supreme Court lawyer Devadatt Kamat to argue that the parent party led by Uddhav Thackeray had powers to disqualify rebel MLAs. The rebel MLAs were getting wrong advice that they could exist as a separate group while supporting a BJP government, Kamat said, adding the rebels would be disqualified as per existing provisions of the anti-defection law.

Kamat said: "The rebel MLAs will be disqualified. Their claim that they have two-thirds majority and hence the anti-defection law provisions will not be applicable to them is not true. The Shiv Sena has initiated disqualification against 16 MLAs under Para 2 (1) of the tenth Schedule."

Kamat said the idea of two-thirds majority not facing disqualification was possible only if they merged with another party. "Even at this point they haven't merged."

"There are several judgments in the Ravi Naik case as well as the latest judgment in the Karnataka case, which favour our side. The rebel MLAs have claimed that a legislator can face action for acts only inside the House. Even the Supreme Court has held that if an MLA commits anti-party activities outside the House, he is liable to be disqualified," he said.

Kamat said he had represented Sharad Yadav when he was facing disqualification from Janata Dal (United) for attending an opposition rally and he lost the case as it was held that Yadav was liable for disqualification for attending an opposition rally.

The lawyer said: "The legislators have not attended several meetings called by the Shiv Sena, have met BJP leaders and are even staying in a BJP-ruled state. They are writing against the government here and are trying to topple the government here. These are clear violations under the anti-defection law."

By fielding an SC lawyer, Shiv Sena is trying to send a message to the rebels. The party knows the rebels do not want to merge with the BJP as the Sena electorate may not accept it. The Sena argument, however, does not seem to be working as another MLA and minister from the Uddhav Thackeray camp, Uday Samat, has flown to Guwahati. This is a huge embarrassment to the party as there are now eight ministers with the Eknath Shinde camp.

Kamat also rubbished claims by the rebels that deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal does not have powers of the Speaker. "The deputy Speaker has the same powers as that of the Speaker... Till the assembly is not convened a notice of motion cannot be moved against the Speaker."


27 Jun 2022