Rajasthan Political Crisis reaches Supreme Court
Rajasthan Political Crisis reaches Supreme Court
Litigation News

Rajasthan Political Crisis: Now, Chief Whip of Congress in Rajasthan moves Supreme Court against High Court order

The petition filed by Chief Whip of the Congress in Rajasthan states that a prima facie case of defection is made out against Pilot and other rebel MLAs for alleged anti-party activities.

Shruti Mahajan

Mahesh Joshi, Chief Whip of the Congress Legislative Party in Rajasthan, has moved the Supreme Court against the decision of the Rajasthan High Court to stay the proceedings in the state assembly initiated against Sachin Pilot and 18 other rebel Congress MLAs.

After a petition was filed by the Chief Whip of the Congress against 19 rebel MLAs including Sachin Pilot, the Rajasthan High Court on July 24 passed an interim order staying the disqualification proceedings before the Speaker. The Court had also directed Speaker CP Joshi to defer the disqualification proceedings till its final verdict in the case.

The High Court’s order had also called for “status quo” to be maintained as regards the proceedings. This, Mahesh Joshi states before the Supreme Court, effectively results in a stay. The petition states that the High Court order to this extent is unconstitutional, illegal and in the teeth of the Kihoto Hollohan judgment of the Supreme Court.

The Congress Chief Whip has also questioned the maintainability of the writ petition that was filed by the MLAs of the Sachin Pilot’s rebel camp, stating that only show cause notice was issued to them by the Speaker, which was not adverse.

Further, it is averred that the challenge mounted against the constitutionality of Para 2(1)(a) of Tenth Schedule is also not maintainable given that “the validity of the Tenth Schedule was extensively considered, deliberated and upheld by this Hon’ble Court in Kihoto’s Hollohan.” The petition adds,

“...mere pendency of a challenge to a statutory/constitutional provision in a Writ Petition cannot and could not have the effect of negating the provision itself as has been sought to be done by the impugned order. The impugned order of the High Court D directing status quo has the effect of emasculating the provision of para 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution itself.”

The plea goes on to argue that the High Court allegedly overstepped its jurisdiction by passing an order for status quo. It is pointed out that the Supreme Court had held that judicial review was not available at stages prior to final adjudication by the Speaker.

It is further stated that a prima facie case of defection is made out against Pilot and other rebel MLAs for alleged anti-party activities.

On these grounds, the interim order of the High Court has been challenged before the Supreme Court.

“It is thus submitted that the impugned order being ex facie illegal, unconstitutional and against the law laid down by this Hon’ble Court deserves to be interfered with by this Hon’ble Court in the exercise of its discretionary powers under Article 136 of the Constitution”

The petition is drawn by Advocates Varun K Chopra, Javedur Rahman, Rajesh Inamdar, and Aditya Bhat and settled by Senior Counsel Devadatt Kamat. The plea is filed through VKC Law Offices.

Earlier, Speaker of the Rajasthan Assembly CP Joshi had moved the Supreme Court against the High Court's order on the grounds that High Court had directly intruded into the exclusive domain of the Speaker.

This fresh plea by Joshi came two days after he withdrew the earlier plea filed against the Rajasthan High Court order "directing" the Speaker to refrain from going ahead with disqualification proceedings.

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