The matter of Sachin Pilot and other rebel MLAs of the Congress party challenging the issuance of notices by the Speaker of the legislative assembly for “anti-party activities” has been adjourned by Rajasthan High Court.
The matter was heard today by a Division Bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta.
Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Speaker of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly Dr CP Joshi, continued with his arguments today. He argued that the courts have no jurisdiction over the disqualification of any member. Citing examples and precedents, Singhvi claimed that judicial review is absolutely barred in this case.
“What will happen if the Speaker orders video recordings of court proceedings?”
Arguments in the matter will resume via video conference at 10:30 AM tomorrow.
In response to the claim of the rebel Congress MLAs that the Speaker had issued the disqualification notices with “unholy haste”, Singhvi said,
“The Speaker is 71 years old. No office was conducted during Corona. Rajya Sabha elections from Rajasthan have been postponed. How can the petitioners say that the Speaker has jumped the gun?”
The Bench then raised the question as to whether the Speaker has to apply his mind while issuing a notice on a complaint of Sachin Pilot against a legislator.
Singhvi clarified that as long as the complaint is not outlandish, there was no need for the Speaker to accord reasons to issue show cause notices.
Referring to the complaint against the legislators made by the Congress party to the Speaker, Salve said,
“If a complaint of this nature is entertained, this is per se illegal…Speaker should have applied his mind before sending notice…This is violating my constitutional right of free speech.”
Sachin Pilot further argued that intra-party disputes cannot be a ground for starting disqualification proceedings.
After Salve concluded, the Court adjourned the proceedings for 10:30 AM tomorrow, when Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi will make submissions on behalf of the petitioners.
On the last date of hearing, after hearing the parties, the High Court had adjourned the matter to July 20.
The Division Bench of the High Court had ordered the Speaker not to take any action on disqualification of the MLAs till 5:30 PM on July 21.