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The Rajasthan High Court has asked the Speaker to decide on the disqualification petitions within a period of three months.
The Supreme Court today disposed of as infructuous the petition filed by BJP MLA Madan Dilawar, who had challenged the merging of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs with the Congress in Rajasthan.
The Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari disposed of the matter today.
The Bench today was informed that a Single Judge Bench of the Rajasthan High Court has delivered its judgment in the case. The High Court has asked the Speaker to decide on the disqualification petitions within a period of three months.
In light of this development, the Bench observed that that the matter has now been rendered infructuous, and disposed of the same.
In the previous hearing, the Bench expressed its disinclination to hear the case at a stage when it remained pending before the Rajasthan High Court. The Court had also refused to pass any interim order in Dilawar's petition.
At an earlier occasion, the Court had adjourned the hearing in the case in light of pending proceedings before a Single Judge Bench of the Rajasthan High Court, where the order passed by the Rajasthan Speaker is under challenge.
In September last year, Speaker of the Rajasthan Assembly CP Joshi had accepted the merger of six BSP MLAs with the Congress party. This move subsequently came to be challenged before the High Court by Dilawar and the BSP. A Single Judge Bench, while issuing notice to the Speaker in the petitions, had directed for a reply to be given by August 11.
The order of the Speaker, however, was not stayed by the Single Judge Bench, and the six BSP MLAs were not restrained from attending the proceedings of the House as Congress legislators.
This decision was appealed against before the Division Bench, which had also refused to stay the Speaker's decision, allowing the functioning of the BSP MLAs as Congress members. The matter was subsequently remitted to the Single Judge. Aggrieved by this order, the petitioners approached the Supreme Court.
It is the case of the petitioners before the Supreme Court that the merger of the six BSP MLAs with the Congress is bad in law and unconstitutional as it goes against the principles laid down in various cases.
In a subsequent development, the six BSP MLAs had also moved the Supreme Court seeking a transfer of Dilawar's petition from the Rajasthan High Court to the Supreme Court on the ground that similar matters are pending before the Apex Court. However, this transfer petition was later withdrawn.