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Rajasthan crisis: HC to resume hearing tomorrow, Speaker's counsel says rebels' petition 'premature'

The hearing remained inconclusive on Monday and Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty said it will be concluded Tuesday.

Published: 20th July 2020 07:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th July 2020 07:55 PM   |  A+A-

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and deputy CM Sachin Pilot

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot (File photo| PTI)

By PTI

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court will on Tuesday resume hearing the petition filed by Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident Congress MLAs, challenging the disqualification notices issued to them by the Assembly Speaker.

The hearing remained inconclusive on Monday and Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty said it will be concluded Tuesday.

The order is also likely to be pronounced on Tuesday.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, counsel for the Speaker, argued that the petition was premature as a decision was yet to be taken on disqualifying the MLAs from the House.

He said there was no scope for interference by a court over the show-cause notices issued by the Speaker.

The dissident MLAs had moved court on Friday amid the infighting in the state unit of the Congress, as Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his now sacked deputy Sachin Pilot tussled for power.

The petition was taken up by a bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta.

The proceedings resumed on Monday morning and continued till the evening.

The notices to the MLAs were served after their party complained to the Speaker that they had defied a whip to attend two Congress Legislature Party meetings last week. The Pilot camp, however, argues that a party whip applies only when the Assembly is in session.

In its complaint to the speaker, the Congress had sought action against Pilot and the other dissidents under paragraph 2(1) (a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.

The provision disqualifies MLAs if they "voluntarily give up" the membership of the party that they represent in the House. Pilot was sacked as the Rajasthan deputy chief minister and the president of the state Congress unit after he rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

Speaker C P Joshi has given the rebel MLAs up to 5:30 pm to reply to disqualification notices, which the dissident camp wants the court to quash.

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