New Delhi, October 9: The Supreme Court on Monday posted for hearing on the October 13 plea of the Sharad Pawar faction of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) seeking directions to Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar to take action against rebel MLAs led by Ajit Pawar.

A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said the present petition will be heard with a similar plea of Uddhav Thackeray group demanding speedy adjudication of the disqualification petitions against Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the MLAs who supported him last year. NCP Symbol Battle: Election Commission Hears Sharad, Ajit Pawar Factions on Claims to Party Name and Symbol; Next Hearing on October 9

The bench said, "Let this be heard with the other one already pending before us. They involve the same issue, and the prayers are also the same. We had asked the Speaker to lay down a time schedule. We will list this and the other matter together on Friday." Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Sharad Pawar group, complained that though the first disqualification was filed before the Assembly Speaker on July 2, not even notice has been issued in the matter to date.

On the other hand, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the Ajit Pawar faction, contended that the petition was misleading because the latest disqualification petition was filed only in the first week of September. However, Sibal said that the first petition was filed before the Speaker on July 2 and nothing has been done yet. In July, Sharad Pawar-led group filed disqualification petitions against 40 MLAs for anti-party activities after Ajit Pawar split the party and joined the coalition government in Maharashtra as Deputy Chief Minister. Maharashtra Politics: NCP Patron Sharad Pawar Denies Any Split in Party, Says ‘No Conflict That Ajit Pawar Is Our Leader’

Jayant Patil, Sharad Pawar loyalist, moved the apex court seeking direction to the Speaker for time-bound disposal of the disqualification petitions in view of a similar direction passed by the top court in the case involving Shiv Sena party dispute between Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde group. Last month, the apex court asked the Speaker to fast-track the adjudication of the disqualification petitions against Shinde and the MLAs who backed him during the 2022 rebellion. It had asked Narwekar to start hearing the petitions within a week and set down a time schedule for deciding them.

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