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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Sachin Pilot gets breather from HC till July 24, Ashok Gehlot holds CLP meet

Hearing the petition filed by the rebel MLAs challenging disqualification notices, the bench of High Court Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta said it had heard all parties and listed the matter for July 24.

Written by Hamza Khan , Deep Mukherjee | Updated: July 22, 2020 5:30:38 am
Ashok gehlot, Sachin pilot, rajasthan crisis, rajasthan political drama, bjp, rajasthan high court, indian express Hearing the petition filed by the rebel MLAs challenging disqualification notices, the bench of High Court Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta said it had heard all parties and listed the matter for July 24.

Granting temporary relief to former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and his 18 MLAs, the Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday deferred its order on their petition till July 24, and “requested” the Speaker to extend the period given to the rebel MLAs to reply to his notice till then. The Speaker later agreed to defer any action “till the evening of July 24”.

Hearing the petition filed by the rebel MLAs challenging disqualification notices, the bench of High Court Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta said it had heard all parties and listed the matter for July 24.

Hearing the petition filed by the rebel MLAs challenging disqualification notices, the bench of High Court Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta said it had heard all parties and listed the matter for July 24.

“We therefore, further request the Honourable Speaker, who has been pleased to extend the period for filing reply by the writ petitioners till 5.30 pm as of today ie July 21, to extend the said period till the delivery of orders by this Court on July 24,” said the court.

After the hearing concluded, Devadatt Kamat, counsel for government chief whip Mahesh Joshi, met Speaker C P Joshi in the Vidhan Sabha and requested him to proceed on his application for disqualifing the MLAs.

“The Speaker said there’s mutual respect for the courts and hence we are deferring taking any action till 5:30 pm on July 24,” said Prateek Kasliwal, who is representing C P Joshi.

“Whether the court gives a final order or an interim order, we will know only on July 24,” Kasliwal said. “The court needs sufficient time to write down the order. It has to consider all arguments, legal issues and hence, I feel, the order was reserved till July 24,” he said.

Initially, the Speaker had told the MLAs to reply to his notice by July 17. But the rebel MLAs approached the court on July 16, saying they had not violated the clause under which their disqualification was sought. When the hearing remained inconclusive on July 17, the court extended the Speaker’s deadline till July 21.

On Tuesday, the court heard Mukul Rohatgi, senior counsel for the petitioners. With the respondents claiming that the petitioners’ application was premature and the Speaker was within his right to decide on what amounts to ‘voluntarily’ giving up party membership, Rohatgi said the court’s power cannot be curtailed and it has jurisdiction to hear the case.

Rohatgi said while the rebel Congress MLAs were given just three days, the Speaker was yet to move on an application filed by BJP MLA Madan Dilawar regarding former BSP MLAs.

He said the Speaker’s actions were mala fide, saying the notice was issued on the day that Mahesh Joshi complained; the MLAs were given less time to reply than what the rules cite (seven days); there is no material to show “application of mind” in sending the notice, which, he said, paraphrased the complaint; no reasons were recorded for issuing the notice.

The court also heard Advocate General M S Singhvi, who was appearing for the Speaker, and Devadatt Kamat, who represented Mahesh Joshi.

It also heard Vimal Choudhary, Poonam Chand Bhandari and P S Sirohi, who sought an intervention application, stating that the petitioners had challenged the constitutional validity of para 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, and it “will have wide public impact and, therefore, they are essentially concerned with the public interest at large.”

Singhvi contended that the writ petition is not a public interest litigation and the intervenors “are neither proper nor necessary parties. Hence, the intervention applications ought not to be entertained.”

The court, however, allowed separate applications moved by the three.

While the matter was being heard in the high court, Gehlot addressed a CLP meeting, where he asserted that his government would complete its full term.

A press statement issued by the Gehlot camp quoted him as saying that while the state government was fighting a battle against Covid-19, “a leader who has been Congress state president” was conspiring with the BJP to topple the government.

The statement quoted Gehlot as saying that the “traitors” would not be able to show their faces in public, and “those playing hide and seek could not be on the path to truth, as truth never hides.”

“Truth is God and God is truth, and truth is with us, hence we will win, the truth will win,” Gehlot told the meeting.

Gehlot also thanked the BTP, RLD and independent MLAs who have extended their support to his government, and expressed belief that the CPI(M) would also support it.

AICC leader in charge of Rajasthan Avinash Pande and Ajay Maken were among the central leaders who attended the meeting.

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