News: Plea has been filed by Rajasthan Assembly Speaker to stop the State’s High Court from deciding the validity of the antidefection notices issued to rebel Congress MLAs.
- High Court has crossed the line by interfering in the ongoing disqualification proceeding even before the decision of speaker.
|Rajasthan HC decision
On 21 July, the Rajasthan High Court said that it will pronounce its verdict on a petition filed by Pilot and 18 other MLAs, challenging the disqualification notices on 24 July. The HC also directed the Speaker to defer the disqualification proceedings till then.
- High Court had no jurisdiction to ask him to defer the disqualification proceedings till July 24.
Questions raised by SC Panel
- Whether a legislator’s “voice of dissent” can be “shut down” with the threat of disqualification in a democracy?
- Can expressing dissent amount to “voluntarily giving up the party membership” under Paragraph 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution and invite anti-defection proceedings?
Arguments put forward by petitioner’s side
- If these MLAs have to voice their dissent, let them do it in their party meetings.
- MLAs attempted to destabilise their own government, they are sitting incommunicado in a Haryana hotel and making demands for a floor test in the media.
- July 14 notice issued by the Speaker was an opportunity for the MLAs to explain their conduct.
- Supreme Court refused Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi’s plea to stop the State’s High Court from deciding the validity of the anti-defection notices.
- But HC’s decision will be subject to the final decision of SC in the case.