Speaker Withdraws Plea Challenging Rajasthan High Court’s Direction as on July 21 

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The Bench was informed by Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal that the petition relating to the disqualification notice served on Sachin Pilot and 18 other MLAs was being withdrawn. The withdrawal is taking place in light of the order passed by the High Court on July 24.

Facts of the Case 

Speaker of the Rajasthan Assembly CP Joshi has withdrawn his petition before the SC. It challenged the Rajasthan HC order of July 21. The plea was for the case about the disqualification notice served on Sachin Pilot and 18 other MLAs.

A Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai, and others were informed by Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal today that the petition was being withdrawn. This was being done in light of the order passed by the High Court on July 24.

Arguments

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Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal submitted that after the Supreme Court refused to stay the High Court’s order passed on July 21 (The order in question directed the Speaker to take no coercive action). The High Court proceeded to pass a detailed order on July 24.

He said that the order passed on July 21, which is the subject matter of challenge in the present SLP, has merged with the High Court’s later order of July 24. Thus, taking this into consideration the same has resulted in a plea.

Therefore, the SLP was withdrawn with liberty to file a fresh SLP, keeping all grounds open.

Court’s Observations

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On July 23, a three-judge Bench of the Apex Court had agreed to hear at length the plea filed by the Speaker. The case in question was about disqualification notices served to 19 MLAs. The Court had refused to grant a stay on the High Court order.

Soon after the hearing before the SC, on July 24, the Rajasthan High Court ordered status quo on the disqualification notice. This stay was in favour of the 19 rebels Congress lawmakers, including sacked Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot.

The status quo implies that Speaker Joshi would not be able to proceed further on the show-cause notice which was issued to 19 dissident Congress MLAs on July 14, even if these legislators did not submit their replies.

The HC had also allowed the petition filed by the Pilot camp to add the Union of India as a respondent. This was done in view of the challenge to Para 2(1)(a) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution of India, which deals with anti-defection.

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Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi had moved the SC against the order of the Rajasthan HC. The order directed the speaker to refrain from proceeding against rebel MLAs till the High Court pronounces its order.

Decision

It has been stated that the July 21 order, which is the subject matter of challenge in the present SLP, has merged with the HC subsequent order of July 24. 

The plea before the SC has become infructuous. Hence, the SLP was withdrawn with liberty to file a fresh SLP, keeping all grounds open. Thus, in the light of the aforementioned events, the Speaker withdrew his plea before SC.


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