A group of activists and civil society members have moved the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the Shiv Sena rebel group of Ministers and MLAs to “return to the state (Maharashtra) and assume their duties”, here on Monday.
The petition has been filed by crusader-lawyer Asim Sarode on behalf of the activists group, comprising prominent personalities from different fields.
Among other things, he has urged the court to direct the rebel group leader Eknath Shinde “who is on unofficial leave” along with other ministers to return to the state and take charge of their duties
The PIL also has demanded “appropriate action” against Shinde, the other Ministers “for omission of duties and moral wrongs committed” leading to disrespect towards public rights and good governance.
The PIL was mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and is likely to come up for hearing soon, Sarode told IANS.
The petitioners have also asked for directions to the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other officials to “submit a detailed plan of assurance” mentioning the process of governance in the absence of so many Ministers.
The group of petitioners are: Utpal B. Chandawar, Abhijit V. Ghule-Patil, Neelima Medha K. Kulkarni, S. Vartak, Hemant M. Karnik, Manali M. Gupte and Madhavi Kulkarni.
The respondents are: Shinde, the group of rebels comprising Ministers and MLAs, the State of Maharashtra, and the state Presidents of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance.
The petition points out how the people in the state are feeling neglected and voiceless, who at many times meek viewers of the (ongoing) political drama, because “they cannot do anything to change the situation of what happens between two elections”.
It highlighted the duty of all elected/appointed representatives to the legislative Assembly or Parliament not to disturb or create nuisance in ‘Constitutional Governance’ for their personal gain or ego’ and not upset the basic expectations related to governance due to ‘power politics’.
The ‘power struggle’ in the state has reached its heights, events are unfolding fast and it’s difficult to predict how it will end.
“Forming the government is one positive action while creating situations to topple the government by hook or by crook is a definite public nuisance issue for the common citizens. Why should the citizens be compelled to tolerate the nonsense under the name of politics,” the petition said.
It also questioned the manner in which the rebel group travelled from Mumbai to Surat (Gujarat) and then to Guwahati (Assam), travelling by chartered flights, living in lavish five-star hotels and asked how the elected representatives are spending such huge amounts and whether they are using ‘public funds’.
Amid all this, the PIL says how the acts of these Ministers is affecting their duties and responsibilities towards the people like roads, education, health, infrastructure, etc., and “such conduct interferes with the rights of the public and affects an entire community”.