Sachin Pilot camp seeks time to amend plea challenging Speaker’s disqualification notice
The 19 Congress rebel lawmakers of Rajasthan assembly, including sacked deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, moved Rajasthan high court (HC) on Thursday against the notices issued by the state assembly Speaker CP Joshi on the petition by chief whip Mahesh Joshi seeking their disqualification, but sought more time to amend their petition.
The petitioners, who are slated to respond to Speaker Joshi’s notices on Friday, informed the court that they would want to challenge the rules and not the validity of the notices, said the counsels, who were present during the hearing in the court.
The 19 rebel Congress legislators had moved the plea to challenge the validity of the notices under Article 191 of the Constitution read with Rajasthan Assembly Member (Disqualification on the grounds of changing party) Rules, 1989.
Advocate Prateek Kasliwal, who represented Speaker CP Joshi, said senior counsel Harish Salve, who is representing the petitioners, has sought time to amend the petition.
“The petitioners said that they would challenge the Rajasthan Assembly Member (Disqualification on the grounds of changing party) Rules, 1989, instead of the notices,” Kasliwal said.
State transport minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas said, Speaker Joshi is empowered to question the rebel lawmakers.
“Everyone needs to follow the party’s whip,” he told media persons.
Earlier, Speaker Joshi had issued notices to 19 rebel members of the Rajasthan legislative assembly (MLAs).
The notices stated disqualification of the 19 MLAs from the Rajasthan assembly under the 10th schedule of the Constitution, which deals with anti-defection.
The notices cited an alleged conspiracy to destabilise the democratically elected Ashok Gehlot government, as the rebel lawmakers skipped the Congress legislative party (CLP) meetings on July 13 and 14.
“All of these lead inescapably and irresistibly to the conclusion that the individual has voluntarily given up membership of the Indian National Congress and the provisions of Para 2(1)(a) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution are attracted to disqualify him with immediate effect,” the complaint had said.