Sachin Pilot
Sachin Pilot
Litigation News

Rajasthan crisis: HC allows Sachin Pilot, rebel Congress MLAs to move amendment plea to challenge Constitutionality of "some provisions"

The request for the same was made today while arguing the plea filed by 19 rebel congress MLAs, led by Prithviraj Meena, challenging the Legislative Assembly Speaker's July 14 defection notice.

Bar & Bench

The Rajasthan High Court today allowed the 19 rebel Congress MLAs from Rajasthan, including former Deputy Chief Minster Sachin Pilot, to move an application to challenge the constitutional validity of some provisions (Prithviraj Meena v. The Honble Speaker).

The request for the same was made today while arguing the plea filed by the 19 MLAs, led by Prithviraj Meena, challenging the Legislative Assembly Speaker's July 14 defection notice.

After taking up the plea this afternoon, Justice Satish Kumar Sharma passed the order allowing the petitioners to move the amendment application, despite vehement objection by Senior Advocate AM Singhvi and Advocate General Abhay Bhandari who appeared for the respondents, including Assembly Speaker, CP Joshi.

The order passed states,

"Without expressing any opinion on the contentions put forth by both the sides, let the petition be listed on filing of the application for amendment of the writ petition so that appropriate consideration may be made on that count.

It is further directed that a copy of the intended application be provided to learned counsel appearing on behalf of respondents before filing the same."

Senior Counsels Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi appeared for the petitioners along with Advocates Hariharan and Divyesh Maheshwari.

Apart from Senior Counsel Singhvi and the Advocate General, Senior Counsels NK Maloo, Devadatt Kamat and Abhay Bhandari and Advocates Darsh Pareek, Siddhanth Jain, Prateek Kasliwal, Supriya Saxena, Siddharth Bapna, Sarvesh Jain, Anuj Bhandari and Ajeet Maloo also appeared for the respondents.

Read the Order:

Prithviraj Meena v. The Honble Speaker - July 16 order.pdf
Preview

The plea was moved following a show cause notice issued by the Speaker of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly on July 14 to the 19 MLAs asking them to explain their "anti-party activities".

Pilot and the other 18 Congress MLAs have challenged the issuance of notice as being a move of "unholy haste" which is "mala fide and contrary to Assembly rules."

As per the plea, the Speaker, upon receiving the notice, issued notice to all the 19 MLAs on the same day and asked them to file a reply within two days. The Speaker stated that if reply is not filed within this period, which ends tomorrow at 1 pm, then he would decide on the matter ex-parte.

The plea states that "this unholy haste on part of the Speaker is malafide and contrary to the assembly legislative rules where minimum seven days time has to be given for a reply."

The High Court has been urged to set aside the Speaker's July 14 show-cause notice, declare that the MLAs' actions do not constitute defection, and to uphold their status as members of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly.

If the rebels can avoid being disqualified and are allowed to vote as Congress members, the Ashok Gehlot-led government could fall. He needs 101 MLAs to vote for him in the 200-member Assembly. Gehlot claims that he has the support of 106 MLAs, which has been contested by team Pilot.

If the rebel MLAs are disqualified, the majority mark will drop, making it easier for Ashok Gehlot to win a floor test.

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