The final arguments in the hearing on the petitions for the disqualification of Shiv Sena MLAs are unlikely to commence by the end of this year, according to a schedule released by the Speaker of the assembly, Rahul Narvekar.
In compliance with Supreme Court directives, Narvekar has finalized the schedule for the disqualification petition hearings against Shiv Sena MLAs, as confirmed by Aseem Sarode, counsel for Shiv Sena (UBT), in his social media posts. Sarode also shared the schedule with the public.
The schedule indicates that the cross-examination of witnesses will commence on November 23. Given the anticipated number of witnesses from both sides, this process is expected to be time-consuming. Additionally, the Winter Session of the assembly is projected to occupy the entire month of December, making it highly unlikely for the final hearing to begin this year.
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aditya Thackeray expressed frustration with the delay, stating, “Justice delayed is clearly justice denied, and not just to us, but to Maharashtra.”
Thackeray also raised concerns about the Speaker’s scheduled foreign visit to Ghana between September 30 and October 6 for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, emphasizing the importance of upholding democratic principles and the Constitution.
As per the schedule, on October 6, counsel from the Shinde faction will respond to the additional affidavit filed by Shiv Sena (UBT) during the previous hearing. A week later, on October 13, both factions will be required to present their views on Shiv Sena (UBT)’s request to consolidate all petitions. They will need to submit written replies first before presenting their arguments, further extending the timeline of the proceedings.