Relief to Sachin Pilot, 18 MLAs as High Court orders status quo on disqualification notices

Sachin Pilot   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

The Rajasthan High Court on Friday ordered status quo to be maintained on the disqualification notices issued by Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi to rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot and 18 dissident Congress MLAs. The court order has essentially put the disqualification procedure on hold.

Mr. Pilot and the MLAs supporting him will not be required to appear before the Speaker and respond to his July 14 notices. No action will be taken against them until the Supreme Court resumes the hearing on the Speaker’s special leave petition on July 27.

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A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta passed the interim order after agreeing to a request by the Pilot camp to make the Union government a party to the writ petition challenging the notices.

The court had earlier asked the Speaker to wait for its verdict on Friday before taking any action on his notices. The court agreed to hear the arguments on the prayers to quash the show-cause notices and declare the anti-defection law under the Tenth Schedule unconstitutional, but said the prayer for declaration of petitioners as MLAs was beyond its jurisdiction.

The notices were issued to the MLAs on a plea of Congress Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi who said that Mr. Pilot and his supporters did not attend the Congress Legislature Party meetings despite the whip having been issued. The Pilot camp contended that a party whip applied only when the Assembly was in session.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 6:02:04 AM |

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