The Rajasthan High Court on Monday dismissed a petition by BJP MLA Madan Dilawar seeking disqualification of the six BSP legislators who had merged with the Congress in September last year.
The petition before Justice Mahendar Kumar Goyal had also questioned the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker’s “inaction” over a plea submitted by Dilawar in March, requesting the Speaker to disqualify the six legislators.
Dilawar had stated in the petition that while the Speaker was not taking action on his application submitted in March, he was expeditiously deciding the matter of rebel Congress MLAs loyal to former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot.
The lead counsel for Dilawar was senior advocate Harish Salve, who had earlier appeared on behalf of the rebel Congress MLAs.
“In the writ petition, we had said there is clear malice on part of the Speaker, who is keeping our petition pending and on the other hand expeditiously deciding matters related to disqualification of Congress MLAs loyal to Sachin Pilot,” advocate Ashish Sharma, representing Dilawar, said. “But during pendency of the petition, we were communicated through email by the Assembly secretary that our petition has been dismissed by the Speaker. In view of this development, our petition became infructuous.”
He said that since the core issue in Dilawar’s petition was seeking expeditious disposal of his complaint to the Speaker, and with the matter already decided, the petition became infructuous.
“Our lead counsel Harish Salve informed the court about this,” Sharma said. “The court also asked the additional advocate general to apprise it about actions taken by the Speaker on our petition. The additional advocate general apprised the court that our petition has been decided. Following that, the court dismissed our petition.”
Before the petition was dismissed, BSP had requested the court to let it become a party to the case. The BSP has issued a whip to the party’s six MLAs who had joined the Congress to vote against the ruling party in any no-confidence motion, or other proceedings held during the Assembly session.
“The merger of BSP MLAs with the Congress is illegal,” BSP’s Rajasthan unit president Bhagwan Singh Baba said. “We have communicated today’s court decision to our party leadership and will decide on further course of action after getting instructions from the central leadership.”
But Lakhan Singh, one of the six MLAs who merged with Congress, told the media on Monday: “For nine months the BSP didn’t think about us and now it is remembering us. This is not BSP…this whip has been issued on instructions of BJP. All six of us have already merged with the Congress. We have merged after following the law.”
He said all six MLAs are supporting the Congress.
Earlier in the day, Dilawar had sat in protest inside the Assembly, demanding a copy of the Speaker’s decision on his petition.
In a separate development, a PIL was filed in Rajasthan High Court by advocate Shantanu Pareek on Monday, seeking the removal of the Governor for the purported “failure on his part to perform his constitutional duties”.
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