Sachin Pilot’s Plea Is Premature, Speaker Tells Rajasthan High Court

Congress had registered a complaint with the Speaker demanding disqualification of Pilot and 18 other MLAs from the Assembly for defying a party whip


JAIPUR| On Monday the hearing on a writ petition filed by Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress dissident MLAs challenging the disqualification notices to them issued by the Assembly Speaker CP Joshi, resumed in the Rajasthan High Court. The division bench of the court, comprising of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta, is hearing the matter.

While Harish Salve and Mukul Rohtagi are appearing on behalf of the Pilot and other MLAs, the Speaker is being represented by noted lawyer and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Making his submission before the HC bench, senior lawyer Abhishek Singhvi, representing the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker, told the court that Speaker’s order can be challenged only on the limited ground but those grounds aren’t there in the petition.

Congress had registered a complaint with the Speaker demanding disqualification of Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs from the Rajasthan Assembly for defying a party whip. The 19 rebels Congress MLAs have revolted against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and skipped the Congress Legislature Party Meetings hed on July 13 and 14.

Following his open revolt against Gehlot, the Congress took strong action against Pilot and camp. The ruling party sacked Piot as Rajasthan deputy chief minister and also removed him as Pradesh Congress Committee president.

The petition filed by the dissidents read, “By way of the instant notice, the voice of the petitioners seeking a leadership change within the party, expressed in the most democratic manner, is sought to be stifled and the petitioners are threatened with the abdication of their right to express their reservations about the functioning of such leadership.”

It further states, “The undue haste and swiftness exhibited by the authority concerned in taking cognisance of the said complaint leaves no doubt in the minds of the petitioners that the move is aimed at arriving at a foregone conclusion leading to the disqualification of the petitioners.”

They have argued that their grievances against the functioning of the government were not tolerated by the chief minister and he called for CLP meet without any agenda and ‘levelled certain baseless allegations against them’.

The Congress on July 17 suspended rebel MLAs Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh from the primary membership of the party for allegedly conspiring with the BJP in trying to topple the Rajasthan government.

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