The top brass of the Congress, including National
General Secretary and Rajasthan in-charge Avinash Pande, K C Venugopal, Ajay Maken, Randeep Surjewala, and Vivek Bansal, is in Jaipur. Gehlot got a slight setback when Delhi reproved him for using insulting language for Pilot — proving that the Gandhi family has still hopes that Pilot will be won over even as Gehlot equally determinedly wants to ensure that Pilot is out of the party forever.
On Monday, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Speaker, said the rebels cannot move the court before any action. “The Speaker and the Assembly are not in the judicial purview of the court for now,” said Singhvi. On Tuesday, Mukul Rohtagi, arguing on behalf of Pilot, said Speaker CP Joshi had shown a “tearing hurry” and had given no reasons while serving notices to disqualify Pilot and others after they skipped two meetings. He said there was nothing to show the Speaker “applied his mind” while serving the disqualification notices. Moreover, the Speaker has no authority to decide on party matters.
Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap says: “To disqualify a legislator, the Speaker should receive a petition stating that he or she has indulged in an anti-party activity or they have voted against the party directives. Then the Speaker can consider and give a proper hearing to all sides. The power to disqualify under Anti-Defection Law is with the Speaker. And it is subject to judicial review. So one can go to the court challenging the Speaker’s decision,” he said.
The decision of reserving its order will make both groups highly skittish. Tighter sequestering of MLAs to prevent poaching is on the cards.
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