Rajasthan Speaker Moves SC Against HC Order in Sachin Pilot Case
A request for interim relief has also been made in the appeal, to stay the Rajasthan High Court’s order of 24 July.
Rajasthan Speaker, CP Joshi, on Wednesday, 29 July, filed an appeal in Supreme Court against Rajasthan HC's earlier order, which found that Sachin Pilot and his MLAs' petition challenging the disqualification notices to them was maintainable.
The appeal challenges Rajasthan HC's decision, on 24 July, to hear the case and order maintenance of status quo by the Speaker – ie, that Speaker can't make a decision on disqualification of the MLAs.
The Speaker argues that the high court cannot conduct a judicial review of any aspects of the disqualification process at this time, relying on the Constitution Bench judgment of the apex court in the Kihoto Hollohan case in 1992.
The appeal asserts that whether or not expression of dissent, non-attendance of meetings, etc are grounds for disqualification, is a decision for the Speaker alone. Judicial review can only come into play after the decision on disqualification has been made.
It is also argued that the Rajasthan High Court cannot entertain the new constitutional challenge raised by Pilot and co to Para 2(1)(a) of the anti-defection law, as the Supreme Court has already upheld the constitutionality of this in the Kihoto Hollohan case and subsequent judgments.
On this basis, a request for interim relief has also been made, to stay the Rajasthan High Court’s order of 24 July.
The legal tussle in the state had started with Pilot and his 18 MLAs approaching the Rajasthan High Court to challenge the ‘disqualification notices’ sent to them by the Speaker.
Meanwhile, the Rajasthan governor on Wednesday, rejected for the third time, a proposal by the Congress government to convene an Assembly session by 31 July.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Wednesday filed a writ petition in Rajasthan High Court against merger of six BSP MLAs with the ruling Congress party in the state.
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