Hailing the order, rebel leader Eknath Shinde calls it ‘the victory of Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva.’

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed till July 12 summons issued by Deputy Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly Narhari Zirwal to Eknath Shinde and other 15 Shiv Sena MLAs after putting in motion the process of their disqualification.

Hearing the petitions filed by the rebel faction led by Shinde challenging the notices, the apex court on Monday stayed the disqualification proceedings till July 12. The vacation bench headed by Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala observed in their order, “Meanwhile as an interim measure, the time granted by the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly to the petitioners or other similarly placed members of the Legislative Assembly to submit their written submissions up to today by 5.30 P.M. is extended till 12.07.2022.” The bench also directed the Maharashtra government to provide security to 39 rebel MLAs and their family members.

Notices have been issued to Maharashtra Deputy Speaker Zirwal, Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu and Legislature Party Leader Ajay Chaudhary asking them to file their affidavits within five days.

Hailing the SC order staying the disqualification proceedings as “victory of Balasaheb’s Hindutva”, Shinde said in a tweet, “This is victory of Hindu Hriday Samrat Shiv Sena leader Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva and Anand Dighe’s ideas.”

Deputy Speaker Assembly Zirwal had begun the process of disqualification of 16 rebel Shiv Sena legislators including Shinde after the Maharashtra government moved a petition for their disqualification from the

House. Citing the provisions of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly [Disqualification on Ground of Defection] Rules, 1986, the Maharashtra Legislator Secretary had on June 25 issued summons to the rebel MLAs and had sought from them a written reply by 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

Two petitions had been filed separately by Shinde and MLA Bharat Gogawale, challenging the disqualification notices and also the powers of the Deputy Speaker to appoint Choudhary as Legislative Party Leader and Sunil Prabhu as Chief Whip in the legislature.

Meanwhile, Aditya Thackeray, Sena leader and son of Uddhav Thackeray, said that the rebel MLAs have sold themselves for lakhs and crores or after their files were opened.