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SC to examine Uddhav faction’s plea against ECI proceedings to determine ‘real’ Shiv Sena



The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to list on August 1 a plea filed by the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena camp seeking the stay of Election Commission of India (ECI) proceedings on the Eknath Shinde faction’s plea for their recognition as the ‘real’ Shiv Sena.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the Uddhav faction, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana seeking an urgent hearing on the matter.

Sibal submitted that “till the court decides, they can’t go to the ECI”.

Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, representing the Shinde faction, said that the petitions before the top court are in connection with the disqualification proceedings initiated by the Speaker and the proceedings before the ECI are distinct.

The top court queried, what is the stage of the proceedings before the ECI.

The bench was informed that a notice has been issued for August 8.

After hearing the brief arguments, the top court tagged the plea along with other petitions filed in relation to the Shiv Sena crisis, scheduled for hearing on August 1.

The plea filed by General Secretary of Shiv Sena Subhash Desai submitted that the respondents purportedly has 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 Shiv Sena — “bow and arrow”.

The plea said on July 20, 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.

The 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.

It contended that the 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 thisAcourtAand the role expected of the ECI as a constitutional authority,” added the plea.


MVA claims Eknath Shinde had gone shopping for a Congress alliance




Making embarrassing revelations, the Congress and Shiv Sena have claimed that the present Chief Minister Eknath Shinde — backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party — had reportedly sought alliance with the Congress in 2014 and 2017, here on Thursday.

Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, and Sena’s veteran ex-minister Chandrakant Khaire besides other leaders have made the sensational claims, sparking off a political row.

Speaking to mediapersons in Nanded, Chavan said that in 2017, ahead of the local body elections in the state, a delegation of Shiv Sena comprising Shinde — then a Minister in the BJP-led government of ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis — had met him in his office with a proposal to sever ties with the BJP.

However, Chavan said he would first consult his own party and Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, and after that, he would raise the issue with the Congress central leadership, though nothing moved after that.

At the relevant time, the ties between the BJP-Sena – ruling the state jointly – were severely strained and they contested the subsequent elections separately, and Chavan was the state Congress President.

Interacting with mediapersons in Aurangabad, Khaire said that in 2014, Shinde along with a group of around 15 Sena MLAs had met Congress with a proposal to form a Sena-Congress-NCP government in the state, but later nothing emerged.

Senior Sena leader Vinayak Raut also endorsed Khaire and Chavan’s contentions saying Shinde wanted to “snap ties with the BJP” and ally with the Congress-NCP.

The MVA’s claims assumed importance against the backdrop of the Shinde Group’s repeated claims that they had rebelled against the Sena President and former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray ostensibly since he allied with the Congress-NCP after the 2019 elections and chucking the party’s Hindutva agenda.

The revolt by 40 Sena MLAs and others saw the collapse of the two-and-half-year old MVA government on June 29, with the BJP-backed Shinde taking charge as CM on June 30.

Reacting to the MVA’s contentions, BJP state president Chandrashekhar Bawankule attempted to turn the tables saying that if such a thing had indeed happened, then it must have been at the behest of Thackeray since Shinde was not party leader

Shinde Group’s Minister Gulabrao Patil declared the contentions as “nonsensical” and said he (Shinde) may have been compelled to attend such a meeting — if it had taken place – on the orders of his leader (Thackeray).

BJP Mumbai President Ashish Shelar issued a veiled warning that Chavan should stick to decorum in public life about certain things that should be kept under wraps, failing which “we could release Chavan’s video clip”, and other leaders raised issues of the Adarsh Society scam.

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After ban, Maharashtra police to put curbs on PFI activities




The Maharashtra police instructed all the commissionerates and district police to remove the hoardings and seal offices of the Popular Front of India (PFI) after the Centre banned the organisation on Wednesday. They have been told to monitor the members’ social media activities to prevent any instigation.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday welcomed the ban on the PFI for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Fadnavis, who also holds the portfolio of home ministry, has directed the Maharashtra director general of police (DGP) to place PFI members under surveillance and monitor their activities to prevent any untoward law and order situation.
Police have also been asked to monitor social media platforms and WhatsApp groups as a preventive measure in case PFI members share messages to garner support, and if there is an attempt to instigate a particular community.

They are to ensure that the PFI members are not sharing anything that portrays the outfit as the victim in an attempt to gain sympathy of the community.

Mumbai Police Department’s Special Branch, which keeps a tab on social media, has removed hundreds of posts supporting the PFI after the Central government announced the ban early Wednesday.

One such action involved a Powai resident, who is the general secretary and finance in-charge of the PFI in the city. Police sources said he posted comments on a social media platform that could have led to a law and order problem. The post was removed and he was taken into preventive custody, they added.

Sources said multiple offices of the PFI in Maharashtra have been sealed and their hoardings removed, including one in Nerul, Navi Mumbai.

The ban follows the pan-India raids by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) earlier this month. The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra has since arrested 22 PFI members and office-bearers from different locations, including Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Aurangabad and Malegaon.

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Maharashtra double tragedy: Man shoots girlfriend on road, gets killed by vehicle while fleeing




In a shocking double tragedy, a young woman was shot dead by her boyfriend in Boisar town, and as he was attempting to flee the spot, was knocked by a military truck and died later, police said here on Thursday.

The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when Neha Mahato, 21, and her boyfriend Krishna Yadav, 25, had a heated argument on the road near a private hospital in Saravali.

Suddenly, Yadav whipped out a revolver and shot Neha in the head from point blank range, killing her instantly.

As the shocked locals rushed there, Yadav panicked and fled the spot but barely a couple of hundred metres away was knocked down and crushed under the wheels of the military vehicle.

He was rushed to a local hospital by the Boisar Police, where he was pronounced dead.

The Boisar Police have recovered the weapon from Yadav and have sent it for a forensic analysis, and his autopsy report is awaited to ascertain if it was an accident or suicide.

As per police preliminary probe, Yadav and Neha had been going steady for a year but he was not willing to marry her.

Neha’s family had given an ultimatum for marriage failing which they would fix her alliance elsewhere.

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