The Rajasthan High court on Thursday deferred the hearing on the amended petition filed by Sachin pilot and 18 other congress rebels challenging the disqualification notice issued by Rajasthan Assembly speaker CP Joshi disqualifying them as MLAs.
The matter is likely to be heard on Friday at 1:00pm.
A division bench of Rajasthan high court will be hearing the case as the petitioners had sought the case to be heard by a division bench claiming it to be constitutional case. The court also allowed for an amended petition to be filed by the petitioners.
The MLAs have been asked to respond to the notice issued by the Speaker by 17 July. The ruling congress party in the state sought the disqualification of the members on the ground of their “anti party activities” It has been alleged that the MLAs deliberately absented themselves from the Congress legislature party meeting held on 13 and 14 July.
The MLAs need to give reply to the notice by Friday, post which they would be disqualified.
The petitioners alleges that the notice issues under the provisions of the constitution are bad in law and should be quashed. Further they have not been given sufficient time to give reply to the notice, said the petitioners.
As per the plea, the complaint dated 14 July, preferred by Mahesh Joshi in the capacity of the chief whip of Indian national congress in the Rajasthan legislative Assembly is on the face of it based upon assumption and surmises which have no factual ground to support the alleged apprehensions voiced in the complaint.
Further, the plea clarifies that none of the petitioners have expressed or indicated their will to give up the membership of INC.
An application for immediate stay of the notice has also been filed till the case is heard at length and notice is quashed as per the prayers of the petitioners.
On 14 July, the Congress party dropped Pilot from the Rajasthan Cabinet and also removed him from the post of party’s state unit head. The move followed Pilot skipping a party meeting, the second in two days. The Congress had warned of action against those who skipped today’s meeting.
As per reports, if the rebel MLAs are disqualified, the majority mark will drop, making it easier for chief minister Ashok Gehlot to win a floor test. The majority mark in the 200-member assembly is 101. Gehlot has accused his former deputy of hobnobbing with the BJP to bring down his government. The BJP, with just 72 MLAs, has been gingerly watching the developments.