Mumbai, Jan 16,2024: Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar did not adhere to the directives of the Supreme Court in his verdict on the disqualification of MLAs’ issue, and “has committed grave contempt of the apex court”, a leading constitutional expert contended on Tuesday.
Virtually tearing into the Speaker’s January 10 ruling at a massive town hall style meeting in Worli, advocate Asim Sarode accused Narwekar of delaying tactics and finally delivering his verdict with political motives.
“The decision was ready made like Maggi noodles… The Speaker took ‘evidence’ like a magistrate court… The decision was unnecessarily delayed for so long with political intentions,” he alleged.
Sarode held that contrary to precedents and norms, the Speaker accepted the majority of the legislature party (of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde faction) in his decision and ignored the political party which is supreme.
The legislative party has a limited tenure of five years, and later it may change, but the political party is a bigger entity and above the legislature party, which was not considered by the Speaker, he said.
He also pointed out that though the SC had declared the election of Bharat Gogavale (of Shinde faction) as the Chief Whip as “illegal”, the Speaker has declared him as a legal appointment, and by doing so, “renamed injustice as justice”.
Sarode expressed serious concern at the Speaker’s ruling and said that this is not just about an intra-party dispute, but “portends ill for democracy and constitution” in the country.
He said that long before the verdict of January 10, “it was very clear among the people, right till the remote areas, that there would be injustice done” and their apprehensions came true.
Shiv Sena-UBT Chief Spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut, slamming the Speaker’s verdict, said that “he has handed over the Shiv Sena to a bunch of thieves”.
“The Speaker’s ruling is a blot on the glorious democratic traditions of Maharashtra… Such a decision would not be acceptable even to his (Narwekar’s) wife,” he said.
Present at the town hall meeting were SS-UBT President and ex-CM Uddhav Thackeray, his wife Rashmi, sons Aditya and Tejas, top party leaders, office-bearers, and activists as the event was live-streamed across the state.