The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a fresh petition from the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of Shiv Sena on July 11 that challenges the decision of Maharashtra Legislative Assmebly Speaker to recognise a leader from Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's camp as Sena's whip.
Newly-elected Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narvekar on late Sunday night recognised the appointment of Bharat Gogawale from the Shinde camp as the chief whip of the Sena, removing Sunil Prabhu of the Uddhav faction.
A vacation bench headed by Justice Indira Banerjee said the fresh petition would be heard by the same bench after the summer break on July 11 along with other pending pleas.
"The speaker has no jurisdiction to recognise whips. This is changing the status quo of proceedings before this court. The speaker yesterday at the stroke of pen at midnight elected the whip," said Senior Advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for the Thackeray group.
Justice Banerjee said, "I do not have the papers in front of me. Let all of this come up together on July 11."
In yet another blow to the Uddhav-led Sena, Narvekar on Sunday night removed Shiv Sena MLA Ajay Chaudhary as the legislative party leader and appointed Shinde to the position.
Earlier on Friday, the Supreme Court had agreed to hear on July 11 the plea of Shiv Prabhu seeking suspension from assembly of the Shinde and 15 rebel MLAs against whom disqualification pleas are pending.
(With PTI inputs)