Rajasthan political crisis | Speaker moves Supreme Court again

Tight spot: Ashok Gehlot and other Congress leaders arriving at the party office in Jaipur on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Rajasthan Assembly Speaker, C.P. Joshi, on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court against the State High Court’s July 24 order effectively deferring his disqualification action against ousted deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident Congress legislators.

Mr. Joshi, represented by advocate Sunil Fernandes, said the “status quo” order of the High Court crossed the “Lakshman Rekha” between the domains of the judiciary and the legislature.

“Judiciary was never expected under the Tenth Schedule to interfere in the manner it has done in the instant case resulting in encroachment by the High Court in the field exclusively reserved for the Speaker. The status quo order interdicts the Speaker from proceeding to even adjudicate the disqualification petitions pending before him under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution,” the special leave petition said.

Mr. Joshi said the Court, as the “sentinel on the qui vive”, should restore the Principle of Separation of Governance. He said the July 24 order of the High Court was “exfacie unconstitutional and in the teeth of the law” declared in Kihoto Hollohan v. Zachillhu 1992 judgment of the Supreme Court, which held that judicial review is impermissible until the Speaker gives a final decision in disqualification proceedings under the Tenth Schedule.

“The order restraining the Speaker from performing his constitutional duties under the Tenth Schedule is a direct intrusion by the High Court into the domain exclusively reserved for the Speaker ... The impugned order of the High Court is a direct interference in the ‘proceedings of the House’ under Para 6(2) of the Tenth Schedule which is prohibited under Article 212 of the Constitution,” the petition said.

The Speaker’s office had on Monday withdrawn an earlier petition challenging an order of the High Court on July 21, requesting him to defer the disqualification proceedings.

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Printable version | Oct 2, 2020 1:00:31 AM |

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