Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena camp has moved the Supreme Court seeking stay of Election Commission of India (ECI) proceedings on Eknath Shinde-camp's plea for recognition as 'real' Shiv Sena.The plea filed by general secretary of Shiv Sena Subhash Desai submitted that the respondents purportedly have initiated proceedings under para 15 of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 (Symbols Order) interalia seeking to be recognised as the "real Shiv Sena" by the ECI, and are claiming the right to use the election symbol allotted to Shivsena "bow and arrow".
The plea said on July 20, 2022, the top court was assured by the counsel appearing for the Speaker that no further proceedings will be conducted in the matter of disqualification under the Tenth Schedule. Uddhav camp urged the top court to stay the proceedings initiated by the ECI on July 22, till the final adjudication by the top court on disqualification of rebel MLAs.
The plea said against the background of proceedings before the apex court, the ECI was requested not to proceed in the matter. The plea contended that ECI was also informed that since the very status of the persons making the petition before it as members of the Legislative Assembly is currently indeterminate and the issue is itself pending decision before the top court, these persons cannot be considered as MLAs of Shiv Sena and their claim or affidavits cannot be relied upon, and therefore, ECI should not proceed with the matter at this stage.
"Despite being asked not to precipitate the matter and stay its hand, the ECI has decided to initiate proceedings under Symbols Order on petition of respondent No. 4 and has issued notice to Uddhav Thackeray and Respondent No. 4 herein, without taking into account the proceedings before this court as well as the oral observation to maintain status quo and in complete disregard of the sanctity of proceedings pending before this court and the role expected of the ECI as a constitutional authority," said the plea.
The plea added that it may not be out of place to mention that the respondents, despite the matter being pending before the top court, in acts of desperation, and to somehow portray a majority are trying to illegally cobble up numbers and fabricate an artificial majority in the organisation.
"It is submitted that the private Respondents 4 have been indulging in several illegal activities contrary to the Constitution of the Shiv Sena...," it added.