Rajasthan: The BSP had in 2018 Assembly polls won six seats. The six MLAs defected to the Congress a year later.
The Supreme Court will today hear petitions filed on the merger of six legislators of the Bahujan Samaj Party with the ruling Congress in Rajasthan. Earlier on Monday, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said that BJP MLA Madan Dilawar’s plea will be heard along with a separate plea filed by the six MLAs.
The six MLAs have requested the top court to transfer Madan’s plea from the High Court to the top court. They told the SC that a plea of the BJP MLA is already pending in the HC on the matter.
The BJP MLA’s plea seeks their disqualification for allegedly violating the party whip. The HC had on August 6 disposed of Madan’s plea against the order of a single judge, who had refused to stay the functioning of these six MLAs as Congress legislators.
The BSP had in 2018 Assembly polls won six seats. The six MLAs defected to the Congress a year later. The MLAs are — Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha. The merger was a boost to the Ashok Gehlot-led government as the tally of the Congress increased to 107 in the House of 200.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Madan, told the SC on Monday that in September last year the Assembly Speaker had passed an order accepting the merger. He said that BSP has said that they have not merged.
While saying that the issue is pending before a single judge bench of the High Court, he also referred to the plea filed by the six MLAs in the apex court.
The six MLAs in their plea filed in the Supreme Court contended that similar petitions, raising questions on disqualification under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, are pending before the Supreme Court and, therefore, the plea filed against them in the High Court should be transferred to the top court.
The MLAs argued that the HC cannot exercise the power of judicial review in purely political questions but can examine questions if they emanate from a constitutional duty or obligation.
Earlier, two petitions were filed in the High Court, one by Madan and the other by BSP national secretary Satish Mishra.
Madan in his plea has challenged the merger of the BSP MLAs into Congress, questioning Assembly Speaker CP Joshi’s order dismissing his complaint without allowing him to have his say.
BSP leader Mishra has challenged the defection of the MLAs, but MLAs have not sought transfer of his plea to the Supreme Court.