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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

No stay on merger, Rajasthan HC sends appeals by BSP, BJP MLA back to single judge

On Thursday, the division bench also directed the District Judge of Jaisalmer to provide all necessary assistance to a special messenger to ensure the notices are served to the BSP MLAs by August 8.

By: Express News Service | Jaipur | Updated: August 7, 2020 1:48:36 am
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot (left) and BSP chief Mayawati have made comments against each other in the wake of the pleas against the merger of six BSP MLAs with the Congress.

A division bench of Rajasthan High Court on Thursday disposed of appeals filed by the BSP and BJP legislator Madan Dilawar, who had sought a stay on merger of six BSP MLAs with the Congress last year.

In its order, the division bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta said that the court is “confident” that the single-judge bench of Justice Mahendar Kumar Goyal will dispose of the petitions filed by the appellants the same day “in accordance with law and without…being prejudiced by any directions/observations issued by us”.

Justice Goyal is set to hear the matter on August 11.

In separate appeals filed on Tuesday, the BSP and Dilawar had challenged Justice Goyal’s July 30 order, which had refused to stay the merger. The court had issued notices to the Speaker and the six legislators, directing them to reply by August 11.

On Thursday, the division bench also directed the District Judge of Jaisalmer to provide all necessary assistance to a special messenger to ensure the notices are served to the BSP MLAs by August 8. The six legislators are currently staying at a hotel in Jaisalmer along with other Congress and Independent MLAs who are supporting the Ashok Gehlot government.

On Wednesday, the division bench had issued notices to the Assembly Speaker over the issue. It also directed the appellants/writ petitioners to publish a notice indicating the order earlier passed by the single-judge bench in Barmer-Jaisalmer edition of a daily newspaper.

Prateek Kasliwal, one of the counsels representing the Speaker, said, “Our argument was that the appeal at this stage is not at all maintainable because High Court rules prescribe an appeal is maintainable only against a judgment, and there was no judgment here (by the single-judge bench). Here it was just issuance of notice, and there are precedents available of this court as well as Supreme Court that appeals at this stage are not maintainable.” It is “highly preposterous” to file an appeal at this stage, he said.

The BSP was represented by senior advocate and party national general secretary Satish Chandra Misra, while senior counsel Harish Salve represented Dilawar through video-conferencing.

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