Vadakanchery Municipal Councillor P R Arivandakshan is the first CPI-M leader to be taken into custody in connection with the scam.
The Supreme Court on Monday asked Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar to set a timeline in a week to decide on the disqualification pleas filed against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other MLAs who broke away from Shiv Sena to form government with the help of the BJP.
In June last year, Shinde and other Shiv Sena MLAs loyal to him ditched the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and joined the BJP to form government in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction) had sought the disqualification of Shinde and his loyalists under in petitions filed before the Speaker.
Earlier in February this year, the Election Commission granted the name Shiv Sena and the bow and arrow symbol to Eknath Shinde faction. The decision was challenged by Uddhav Thackeray faction in the Supreme Court.
Hearing the plea filed by Uddhav Thackeray faction, a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud had on May 11 asked the Speaker to decide on disqualification of Shinde and his loyalists in a reasonable time frame. However, a decision was not taken by Speaker Narwekar.
“…he has to decide. He can’t do this (keep delaying the decision). What did the Speaker do after the May 11 judgement by court?” the Chief Justice asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the Speaker.
“We direct that (the) Speaker shall hear the matter (of disqualification) no later than a period of one week”, the CJI-led bench ordered.
The top court also asked for a proposed timeline from the Speaker to decide on the disqualification petitions and listed the matter for next hearing in two weeks’ time.
The Speaker began the hearing of petitions last week but postponed it after Shinde faction told him about not having some documents. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for Uddhav faction termed the hearing by Speaker “farce”.