Pilot camp disqualification case: Assembly Speaker moves SC against HC order
The Rajasthan High Court, on July 21, had ordered the Assembly speaker to defer the disqualification proceedings till Friday. On the complaint of Rajasthan chief whip Mahesh Joshi, the disqualification notice was issued against Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident MLAs.
Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C P Joshi, on Wednesday, moved the Supreme Court against the High Court order restraining him till July 24 from conducting disqualification proceedings against 19 dissident Congress MLAs. Joshi, in his petition, has argued that the "judiciary was never expected" to intervene in such matters resulting in "constitutional impasse".
Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi had sought the disqualification of Sachin Pilot and 18 dissident MLAs for not attending two Congress’ Legislature Party (CLP) meetings despite the whip having been issued. The Pilot camp had challenged the assembly speaker’s notice issued under the state anti-defecation law and Article 191 of the Constitution.
On July 21, the Jaipur High Court had ordered CP Joshi to defer the disqualification proceedings till Friday.
Seeking an interim stay on the HC’s July 21 order, the plea filed with the apex court said it was the duty of the top court to ensure that all constitutional authorities exercise their jurisdiction within the boundaries and respect their “respective ‘Lakshman rekha’ as envisaged by the Constitution itself”.
The chances of an urgent hearing on the Speaker’s plea during the day diminished as the apex court’s registry could not inform lawyer Sunil Fernandes, the counsel for Joshi, about the clearance of the petition for an urgent hearing by a bench till 3 pm.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde later told Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was appearing in another matter, to raise the issue of urgent listing before the apex court’s registry.
“The proceedings under the Tenth Schedule (which deals with disqualification of lawmakers) before the Speaker are proceedings of the Legislature and as such cannot interfere with as repeatedly held by this Court as envisaged under Article 212 read with para 6(2) of the Tenth Schedule,” the plea said.
“The impugned order (of HC) is ex-facie is illegal, perverse, and in derogation of the powers of the Speaker under the Constitution and hence deserve to be set aside,” it added.
The petition, which has been settled by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Vivek Tankha, said that the Speaker was the designated constitutional person to deal with the disqualification plea against 19 MLAs and the high court should not have intervened.