Rajasthan HC issues notice to Speaker on appeal seeking stay on merger of six BSP MLAs
The Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday asked state assembly Speaker CP Joshi to respond by Thursday to the petition filed by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) seeking an immediate stay on the merger of six BSP MLAs with the Congress.
The six MLAs, who won the BSP ticket, had joined the Congress in September 2019 and the Speaker had approved the merger next day. The MLAs are Sandeep Yadav (Tijara), Wajib Ali (Nagar), Deepchand Kheria (Kishangarh Bas), LakhanMeena (Karauli) and Rajendra Gudha (Udaipurwati).
The Bharatiya Janata Party had opposed the merger and sought the disqualification of the six MLAs in February 2020. Joshi on July 30 rejected the disqualification petition.
Besides BSP, BJP MLA Madan Dilawar had filed a petition with the single bench of Rajasthan High Court seeking a stay on Speaker’s order. The single bench sought reply from Joshi and the six MLAs by August 11.
On Tuesday, the BSP and Dilawar filed a review petition with the division bench of the High Court seeking a stay on the merger of BSP MLAs with the Congress.
“The division bench comprising chief justice Indrajeet Mahanty and justice Prakash Gupta has issued notice to assembly Speaker and has sought a reply by tomorrow,” said Dinesh Kumar Garg, counsel for BSP.
He said the arguments on behalf of the BSP were made by BSP national general secretary Satish Mishra and on behalf of the BJP the arguments were made by Harish Salve.
Garg said that earlier, they had prayed the court to accept their special appeal and to suspend the order of assembly Speaker dated September 18, 2019, whereby he had declared that 6 elected representatives of BSP have merged with Indian National Congress.
He said, earlier, the single bench of the HC had issued a notice to the six MLAs who, at present, are in a private hotel in Jaisalmer and had sought a reply by August 11.
“As per the news published in the newspapers that the six MLAs were staying at a hotel in Jaipur and now been shifted to a hotel in Jaisalmer, service of the notices upon the respondents is not possible and the session of the assembly is proposed to be started on August 14. If the stay prayed for is not granted the present, the matter would be rendered infructuous and will defeat the whole purpose of filing the present writ petition before the court,” Garg said.
BJP spokesperson Pankaj Meena said that it’s a fact that the nod to the merger of the MLAs was biased. “This notice reflects that the merger of the BSP MLAs with the Congress was not fair and the issuing of notice is indicative of the fact,” Meena said.
BSP state president Bhagwan Singh Baba said that the party is excited as the case is moving swiftly and in the right direction. “The issuing of the notice is a positive indicator and we have full faith in the judiciary, we will get justice,” Baba said.
State Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma said that the matter is subjudice. “I can only say that the Speaker is a constitutional post and the decision taken by him were constitutionally and legally correct,” Sharma said.