The Supreme Court said that it will not restrain the High Court from passing order on pleas of dissident 19 Congress MLAs including Sachin Pilot challenging Speaker's disqualification notice.
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the Rajasthan High Court’s directive restraining Assembly Speaker CP Joshi from taking action on the disqualification notices that he had served to sacked deputy CM Sachin Pilot and 18 dissident Congress MLAs last week. The top court said that the High Court can deliver its verdict on the plea by Pilot and the 18 other MLAs on Friday.
“Not restraining Rajasthan HC from passing order on pleas of dissident 19 Congress MLAs challenging Speaker’s disqualification notice,” a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said. The matter will now be heard by the top court on July 27.
During the hearing today, the court observed that voices of dissent in a democracy cannot be shut down and noted that the Speaker’s petition against the High Court order asking him to defer disqualification process till July 24 requires detailed hearing.
Order passed by Rajasthan HC will be subject to the outcome of Speakers’ petition pending in the apex court, it said.
Responding to a query of the bench, Kapil Sibal who was representing the Speaker, said the MLAs had gone to Haryana, stayed at a hotel and gave TV bytes that they want floor test. He said the issue as to whether the disqualification process is permissible or not cannot be taken note of by the court at this stage.
“Our grievance is purely constitutional and there cannot be any order till a decision is taken by the speaker,” he said.
Sibal said that at the most, the Speaker can be asked to decide disqualification within a time frame but the process can’t be interfered with, and, no writ can lie to challenge proceedings before the Speaker prior to the decision on disqualification or suspension of MLAs.
The top court said it will take up the matter again for hearing on July 27.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Rajasthan High Court had barred the Speaker till July 24 from deciding the disqualification notices he had issued to 19 rebel MLAs.
The Speaker in his plea termed the HC order as ‘illegal, perverse, and in derogation of the powers of the Speaker’. He said that the “judiciary was never expected” to intervene in such matters resulting in “constitutional impasse”.
The Pilot camp had last week moved the High Court against the disqualification notices served to them by the Speaker. The High Court after hearing arguments of both the sides, issued a directive to the Speaker from not taking action on the notices and said that it will pass an appropriate order on Friday.