HC likely to pronounce order on petition filed by Pilot, 18 rebel Cong MLAs

Sachin Pilot was removed as Deputy CM of Rajasthan and also from the state PCC chief by the Congress party.
The Rajasthan High Court is likely to pronounce its order on Tuesday on a writ petition filed by Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident Congress MLAs, challenging the disqualification notices issued to them by the state assembly speaker.

The petition was taken up by a bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta on Friday and arguments were heard on Monday till evening.

The hearing will resume at 10:30 am. The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) is also scheduled to meet at 11 am.

The dissident MLAs had moved the court on Friday amid the infighting in the state unit of the Congress, as Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his now sacked deputy Pilot tussled for power.

Counsel for the speaker Abhishek Singhvi on Monday argued that the petition was premature as a decision was yet to be taken on disqualifying the MLAs from the House.

There is no scope for interference by a court over the show-cause notices issued by the speaker, he had said.

The speaker is supreme as far as the legislative assembly is concerned and the notices have been issued within the purview of the speaker's power, Singhvi had said.

File photo of Sachin Pilot addresses during a joint press conference, in Jaipur: ANI Photo

A lawyer appearing for the speaker had told reporters that the chief justice asked is the speaker bound to issue a notice on a petition seeking disqualification of such nature without recording any reason.

Singhvi had argued that there was no requirement to record reasons as it was merely a show-cause notice.

The notices to the MLAs were served after the party complained to the speaker that the lawmakers had defied a whip to attend two CLP meetings last week on Monday and Tuesday.

The Pilot camp, however, argues that a party whip applies only when the assembly is in session.

In its complaint to the speaker, the Congress had sought action against Pilot and the other dissidents under paragraph 2(1)(a) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.

The provision disqualifies MLAs if they "voluntarily" give up the membership of the party that they represent in the House.

Pilot was sacked as the Rajasthan deputy chief minister and the president of the state Congress unit after he rebelled against Gehlot.


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