New Delhi: The Supreme Court stated, on Thursday (March 17), that it cannot reinstate Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister of Maharashtra when Thackeray put in his resignation before a floor test could happen. During a hearing on the Shiv Sena matter, the five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud told the Uddhav faction’s lawyer that asking the apex court to reinstate Uddhav Thackeray as CM is like asking to reinstate a government that has resigned before the floor test.
The court quipped, “So, according to you, we do what? Reinstate you? But you resigned. That’s like the court being asked to reinstate a government which has resigned before the floor test.”
As per reports, the Thackeray faction had suggested that the court could restore the “status quo ante” and reinstate Uddhav as CM as it did in 2016 when it reinstated Nabam Tuki as the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh. “How can the court reinstate the chief minister, who did not even face the floor test,” the court said to the Thackeray faction.
Along with Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, the bench comprised Justice MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha. The verdict on the Shiv Sena row involving the Eknath Shinde faction and Uddhav Thackeray faction was reserved by the court on Thursday.
Abhishek Singhvi, part of the Uddhav faction’s legal team, told the court, “My resignation is irrelevant. Your lordships are not reinstating anyone but restoring the status quo ante.”
“The resignation of the ex-CM on June 29, 2022, would be irrelevant as once the illegal act of the governor is allowed to be implemented, the result of the trust vote was a known and foregone conclusion, and factually there was no need for the ex-CM to subject himself to it,” he further said.
In February, the Election Commission allotted the name ‘Shiv Sena’ and its poll symbol to the group led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde instead of the Uddhav Thackeray faction. Uddhav Thackeray, disappointed with the decision, had said, “We will surely go to the Supreme Court against this EC order. We are sure that the SC will set aside this order and that the 16 MLAs will be disqualified by SC.”