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Maharashtra

Uddhav vs Shinde: SC allows EC to decide which faction is real Shiv Sena

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In a big setback to Uddhav Thackeray’s faction, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to stop the Election Commission from deciding the claim of Eknath Shinde group to be the real Shiv Sena.

After a day-long hearing, a constitution bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud dismissed the interlocutory application filed on behalf of Thackeray’s faction. The apex court’s decision is very significant in view of the impending Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections, where both Shinde and Thackeray factions would like to contest the poll.

The bench — also comprising Justices M.R. Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli, and P.S. Narasimha — said there would not be any stay on the proceedings before the Election Commission on intra party dispute and ‘bow and arrow’ symbol of the party. “We direct that there would be no stay of the proceedings before the Election Commission of India,” it said.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal, A.M. Singhvi and Devadatt Kamat represented the Thackeray’s faction. Sibal submitted that Shinde cannot approach the EC once he has incurred disqualification, saying “I challenged the very locus of the person who moved the EC”.

Sibal clarified that Shinde has incurred disqualification as his various acts amounted to “voluntarily giving up membership of the party” under the Tenth Schedule, and he also violated the party whip, which is also covered by the Tenth Schedule.

The Thackeray camp vociferously argued that since disqualification of Shinde and the MLAs supporting him was pending, therefore EC cannot consider their application over the party and the symbol. However, the top court declined to entertain this contention.

Senior advocates Maninder Singh, Neeraj Kishan Kaul, and Mahesh Jethmalani, assisted by advocate Abhikalp Pratap Singh, argued for the Shinde faction.

Senior advocate Arvind Datar represented the Election Commission.

Shinde’s faction counsel argued that under Article 324 of the Constitution, the EC possesses plenty of powers to deal with any situation which arises in relation to political parties and several party members have sent their representations to the EC supporting the Shinde group.

Kaul submitted that the nature of enquiry under Tenth Schedule and the Symbols Order are different.

Shinde’s faction counsel claimed a hopeless minority sought to remove him from the party, and contended that the Speaker, under the Tenth Schedule, has to exercise power to determine disqualification of a member and he cannot decide on the split or merger within a political party. Shinde faction counsel vehemently argued that a party member’s right to move the EC cannot be taken away.

The EC counsel argued that it worked independently, and its functions are different when compared with the Speaker. The counsel added that it can decide who held the majority in the party.

Shinde and his faction had rebelled against Thackeray, which forced him to resign as Maharashtra Chief Minister.

Shiv Sena’s General Secretary Subhash Desai had moved the apex court saying that Shinde and other MLAs, have purportedly initiated proceedings under para 15 of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 (Symbols Order) seeking to be recognised as the “real Shiv Sena” by the EC. Desai added that they are also claiming the right to use the election symbol of “bow and arrow” allotted to Shiv Sena.

Thackeray faction claimed that since the disqualification matter is pending in the apex court, Shinde faction are trying to illegally cobble up numbers and fabricate an artificial majority in the organisation.

The apex court, on July 11, asked the newly appointed Maharashtra Assembly Speaker not to go ahead with proceedings on the disqualification petitions.

Maharashtra

Did Mumbai police impose curfew in city? Watch what Joint CP Vishwas Nangre Patil has to say

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The news about the Mumbai Police imposing curfew has been doing rounds on social media. However, the Mumbai police have clarified that it is a routine order. They have also made it clear that this is not a new order but the same order which is renewed every 15 days.

On December 2, several news reports claimed that the Mumbai police has issued an order under which it imposed a prohibition of the gathering of more than four-five people and banned the use of loudspeakers among other things till January 2.

Refuting the claims about the same, Vishwas Nangre Patil, Joint CP (Law & Order), in a video, explained how it is just a routine order renewed every 15 days, and appealed to all to not share it further. He informed that it is a routine procedure under the prohibitory orders under section 37 of the Maharashtra Police Act in Mumbai.

He stated that the order will change nothing for residents and that all the scheduled functions can be celebrated as per the plan. He stated that the order will largely affect those who will be involved in illegal protests and gatherings and not common residents. 

The video was shared by official handle of Mumbai Police with the caption, “Clarification on CRPC #144 The news of ‘curfew’ imposed in Mumbai is doing rounds of the Internet. Joint CP @vishwasnp (Law & Order) explains how it is just a routine order renewed every 15 days, and appeals all to not share it further.”

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Maharashtra

On Camera: Fire engulfs apartment in Malad high-rise, no injuries reported so far

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On Saturday morning, a massive fire broke out on the third level of the 21-story skyscraper Marina Enclave in Janakalyan Nagar, Malad in Mumbai.

The blaze erupted in the flat located on the third floor of the high rise building in Malad around 11 am.

At least four fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire was doused within 15 minutes, he said, adding that nobody was injured in the incident.

The cause of the fire is being ascertained and further details are awaited, he said.After the entire floor was engulfed in flames, some people on the floor were seen coming to the balcony and calling for help. With the help of locals, the people caught in the fire were brought out safely.

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Maharashtra

Mumbai: Will schools, colleges remain closed due to section 144 across the city? Here’s what we know

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 With the Mumbai police imposing section 144 across the city as prohibitory orders due to reports of disruptions of public order and peace in the near future, posing a threat to human life and property, there has been concerns over what activities have been permitted and what haven’t been. 

Schools, colleges, and other educational institutions have also been considered by the Mumbai Police while releasing the diktat, which has been extended till January 2. 

It should be noted schools and colleges across Mumbai will not be impacted by the extension of section 144 across the city and will continue to function in accordance with their academic calendars. 

There have been no official notifications by the authorities or institutions regarding the closure of schools and colleges in the city so far. 

Vishal Thakur, Deputy Commissioner of Mission Department, Mumbai Police, issued the orders via press release .

  • Bursting and playing loudspeakers, instruments, bands and crackers
  • Any kind of processions are not permitted
  • Loudspeakers are not allowed at the processings
  • Processions on all kind of marriage ceremonies, funeral meetings, on the way to cemeteries, legal meetings of companies (at major scales), clubs, cooperative societies and other associations
  • Social gatherings, at mass level, around clubs, theatres or places of public entertainment film in or around any place, gathering for the purpose of watching plays or programmes, acts
  • Gatherings of people around courts and government offices and around local bodies performing government or semi-government functions, meeting for schools, colleges and other educational institutions for educational activities, factories, general business,
  • Meetings for business and solicitation in shops and establishments, demonstration of other gatherings and processions, those who are allowed have been expelled from this order by the divisional deputy commissioner of police and his monitoring officers.
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