Rajasthan HC restricts Speaker from taking action against Sachin Pilot, 18 MLAs till Tuesday
The court issued the order while adjourning the hearing in the petition challenging the disqualification notice issued to them by the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker to 20 July
The Rajasthan High Court has restrained the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi from taking any action against former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs till 5.30 pm on 21 July (Tuesday), reports said.
The court issued the order on Friday while adjourning the hearing in the petition challenging a disqualification notice issued to them by the Speaker, to 20 July (Monday), The Indian Express reported.
Additionally, the hearing scheduled for Friday before Joshi on the disqualification notice was deferred to Tuesday in view of the court hearing.
"No action can be taken against MLAs till then (5.30 pm on Tuesday)", said lawyer Prateek Kasliwal, who is representing Joshi in the petition.
Kasliwal added that the petitioners' lawyers have concluded their arguments in the court on Friday.
"Today the matter was heard in the high court. Petitioners' lawyers (Harish) Salve and (Mukul) Rohatgi concluded their arguments. The hearing will continue at 10 am on Monday," Kasliwal told reporters after the hearing.
He added, "Abhishek Manu Singhvi has given an undertaking that the hearing before the Legislative Assembly slated for 5 pm today (Friday) has been deferred till Tuesday," Kasliwal said.
A division bench of the Rajasthan High Court, headed by Chief Justice Indrajit Mohanty, had on Thursday deferred the hearing on the matter to Friday after the Sachin Pilot camp sought to amend their petition against the disqualification notice.
Pilot and the MLAs supporting him approached the high court over the disqualification notice, seeking the quashing and setting aside of the show cause notice issued to them on 14 July by the Speaker of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly.
The development comes after Joshi sent notices to Pilot and 18 MLAs under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, popularly known as the anti-defection law after the Congress chief's whip application for their disqualification. MLAs were earlier asked to present before Assembly Speaker on 17 July.
According to the notice, if these MLAs fail to respond to the notice then the Speaker can proceed ex parte and disqualify them from the Assembly.
The Congress complaint and the Speaker's notice came after Pilot and the lawmakers supporting him skipped Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meetings on 13 and 14 July.
Rajasthan Congress continues to remain in turmoil after simmering differences between Pilot and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot came out in the open. On 14 July, Pilot was also sacked from the posts of Rajasthan deputy chief minister and state PCC president.
Gehlot has blamed the BJP for attempting to de-stabilise the state government by poaching MLAs. A controversy had broken out in Rajasthan after a Special Operation Group (SOG) sent a notice to Pilot to record Pilot's statement in the case registered in the alleged poaching of Congress MLAs in the state.
With inputs from agencies
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