The Jharkhand High Court has issued notices to five ministers of the Madhu Koda cabinet, asking them to explain their position against a PIL seeking the court's intervention in resolving the anti-defection cases pending against them.
Issuing the notices on wednesday, a bench of Justices MY Eqbal and Jaya Roy fixed September 10 for hearing of the case.
In their PIL, Kusheshwar Singh and Mukesh Singh alleged that the ministers had violated the anti-defection law under the 10th schedule of the Constitution.
For the past three years, anti-defection petitions are pending with the state Assembly speaker against Deputy Chief Minister Stephen Marandi, Rural Development Minister Enos Ekka, Health Minister Bhanu Pratap Sahi, Water Resources Minister Kamlesh Singh and Science and Technology Minister Chandraprakash Choudhary.
Various persons filed the petitions against them before the speaker during government formation of former Chief Ministers Shibu Soren and Arjun Munda and the present chief minister between 2005 and 2006.
Stephen Marandi faces charges of taking oath as an MLA allegedly before resigning his Lok Sabha membership in 2005.
In the same year, the Forward Block had filed a petition against Bhanu Pratap Sahi, the NCP filed a petition against Kamlesh Singh and the Jharkhand Party (Horo) filed a similar petition against Enos Ekka, all demanding their disqualification for allegedly violating party whip during government formation.
Chandraprakash Choudhary, who joined the Madhu Koda government on September 18, 2006, is also facing a disqualification petition.