Rajasthan Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi on Friday moved the Supreme Court against the High Court’s order directing the state Assembly Speaker to defer disqualification proceeding against sacked deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and 18 rebel MLAs.
In his plea in the top court, Joshi has argued that the High Court order is “ex-facie unconstitutional, illegal and in the teeth of the law laid down by this court in 1992 verdict in the case of Kihoto Hollohon”.
The 1992 judgment had held that the Speaker has the authority to decide the disqualification proceedings and judicial intervention in the process is “not permissible”.
In relief to the rebel Congress camp of Sachin Pilot, the Rajasthan High Court on July 24 directed that status quo as of July 14 be maintained on notices sent by Assembly Speaker CP Joshi to the 19 MLAs led by Pilot.
Joshi had later filed an appeal against the order, saying that “the High Court acted in gross judicial indiscipline” and the order was a “direct intrusion” into the Speaker’s domain.
The Speaker had issued a notice to the rebel MLAs on July 14 after the Congress complained that they had defied a whip to attend two legislature party meetings. As the MLAs moved the High Court challenging the notice, the court, in an interim order on July 21, asked the Speaker to give them time till July 24 to reply to his notice.
Joshi then approached the Supreme Court, which refused to stay the order, saying that the matter needs to be heard in detail. As the High Court passed a status quo order on July 24, Joshi had withdrawn his petition to weigh his legal options.
Amidst the political drama, the state Assembly session is set to begin August 14 after Governor Kalraj Mishra on Wednesday night finally agreed to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s fourth proposal for the same.
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