SC declines to stay Rajasthan HC actions on Sachin Pilot's petition, postpones hearing

SC declines to stay Rajasthan HC actions on Sachin Pilots petition, postpones hearing
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SC declines to stay Rajasthan HC actions on Sachin Pilot’s petition, postpones hearing

Highlights

The Supreme Court has refused to restrain the Rajasthan High Court from passing an order on the pleas of Sachin Pilot and the group of rebel MLAs over the disqualification notices issued to them.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has refused to restrain the Rajasthan High Court from passing an order on the pleas of Sachin Pilot and the group of rebel MLAs over the disqualification notices issued to them. Supreme Court has postponed the hearing into Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi's petition for Monday.

The Supreme Court said questioned Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi on the reasons for initiating disqualification proceedings against 19 rebel Congress MLAs, including Sachin Pilot.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said, "This is not a simple matter and these MLAs are elected representatives. Voice of dissent in a democracy cannot be shut down." He added, "We are trying to find out whether the process of disqualification was permissible or not."

Responding to the question raised by the bench, Sibal said, "These MLAs had gone to Haryana, stayed at a hotel and gave TV bites that they want floor test." He said the issue as to whether the disqualification process is permissible or not can be taken note of by the court at this stage. "Our grievance is purely constitutional and there cannot be any order till the decision is taken by the speaker."

During the hearing, the bench asked Sibal whether a disqualification notice can be issued to MLAs for not attending the meetings and can it be taken as a stand against the party.

The bench's observation came when Sibal said that there was a notice issued by the Chief Whip of the party to all MLAs to attend the meetings.

At the outset, Joshi told the top court that the state high court has no jurisdiction to restrain him from conducting disqualification proceedings till July 24 against 19 rebel Congress MLAs, including sacked deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot.

Sibal referred to a famous top court verdict rendered in the 1992 Kihoto Hollohan case, in which it was held that courts can't intervene in disqualification proceedings undertaken by the Speaker under Tenth Schedule to the Constitution. He said courts could only get involved when the Speaker takes a decision to suspend or disqualify a member of the House.

Joshi has challenged the Rajasthan High Court's July 21 order, which said the verdict on the petition filed by the 19 MLAs, challenging the disqualification notices, will be pronounced on July 24 and asked him to postpone the disqualification proceedings until then.

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