Rajasthan Speaker to Move SC Over HC's 'Intervention' in Rebel MLAs' Disqualification

"It is well defined by the Supreme Court that only the speaker can decide on anti-defection," C.P. Joshi said.

Jaipur: A day after the Rajasthan high court requested the assembly speaker, C.P. Joshi, to defer action against rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot and other MLAs supporting him, Joshi said he would move the Supreme Court against the high court’s “delay and intervention” in the matter.

“It is well defined by the Supreme Court that only the speaker can decide on anti-defection. The speaker had full authority to send a notice,” Joshi told reporters.

Last week, Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi had submitted a petition to Joshi to consider the anti-party conduct of the 19 Congress rebel MLAs including Sachin Pilot as “voluntary renouncing of their membership in the Congress”, a ground for disqualification from the membership of the House.

Following this, the state assembly secretariat issued notices to all of them, asking them to send their written submissions within three days (by July 17), failing which ex-parte action will be sought against them.

Also read: Explained: The Strained Relationship Between Rajasthan Speaker C.P. Joshi and Ashok Gehlot

The rebel MLAs who were served this notice moved the high court, primarily stating that the failure to attend Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meetings, which was listed as a reason in the disqualification petition moved by the Ashok Gehlot government, is not a ground for disqualification.

The Rajasthan high court initially barred the speaker from seeking any action against the rebel MLAs until Tuesday (July 21). On Tuesday, the court said it would announce the verdict on Friday, requesting the speaker to defer action against the rebel MLAs till then.

Saying that the speaker is the first authority to decide a matter of disqualification, Joshi said, “It can be judicially reviewed only later, after the speaker’s decision.”

Joshi said he would file a special leave petition against the high court order.