MLA disqualification: Speaker urges SC to stop HC from giving verdict

Assembly Speaker CP Joshi in his petition said disqualification process is part of the Assembly proceedings and hence, the HC could not have interfered by asking him to defer it till Friday

The speaker has moved the Supreme Court against the high court’s order to him to defer any action against the rebels until it pronounces its verdict on Friday. Photo: PTI

Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi on Wednesday (July 22) urged the Supreme Court to direct the Rajasthan High Court to abstain from delivering a verdict on the petition filed by 19 rebel Congress MLAs including former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot.

The speaker has moved the Supreme Court against the high court’s order to him to defer any action against the rebels until it pronounces its verdict on Friday.

The high court had said on Tuesday that it would deliver its order on July 24 on a petition filed by Pilot and 18 other MLAs, challenging the disqualification notices sent to them. It asked the Speaker to defer the disqualification proceedings till then.

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The Speaker, in his plea filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes, has said that the disqualification process is part of the Assembly proceedings and hence, the high court could not have interfered by asking him to defer it till Friday.

Later, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was appearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde in another matter, raised the issue of having a mechanism in the top court for urgent mentioning and listing of petitions like the one filed by the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker.

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The CJI told Sibal to raise the issue of urgent listing before the apex court registry. The Speaker’s counsel had twice before agreed to the high court’s request to extend the deadline for receiving replies from the MLAs to the show-cause notices.

Pilot and 18 dissident Congress MLAs have challenged their disqualification notices in the high court. The notices to MLAs were served after the party complained to the Speaker that the legislators had allegedly defied a whip to attend two Congress Legislature Party meetings, on Monday and Tuesday last week. The Pilot camp, however, has argued that a party whip applies only when the Assembly is in session.

In its complaint to the Legislative Assembly Speaker, the Congress had sought action against Pilot and the other dissidents under paragraph 2(1)(a) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution. Pilot was sacked as deputy chief minister and the president of the state unit of the party after he rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

(With inputs from agencies)

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