Rajasthan crisis: HC can pass order on rebels’ plea says Supreme Court
New Delhi, July 23: The Supreme Court has said that the Rajasthan High Court can pass orders on the plea by the rebel Congress MLAs challenging the disqualification notice from the Speaker. The court, however, said that the order will be subject to the final outcome by the Supreme Court.
Earlier the court said that it intends to adjourn the plea by the Rajasthan Speaker. This is a serious matter and needs prolonged hearing.
The Speaker urged the court to stay further proceedings in the Rajasthan High Court until the matter is decided by the SC. However, the SC decline to stay the proceedings before the Rajasthan HC.
Earlier, the court asked the Rajasthan Speaker if a voice of dissent can be shut down in a democracy. They are after all elected representatives and this is a very serious matter, the court told the Speaker, who has challenged the Rajasthan High Court's order which directed that the disqualification proceedings be kept in abeyance.
The court also said that the question here is about democracy. How will it survive? This is not just about disqualification of some people, the Bench also said.
Appearing for the Speaker, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said that the MLAs cannot file a petition saying that the Speaker cannot issue notices to them. I have not decided anything as yet, Sibal said for the Speaker.
The court then sought to know on what grounds has the disqualification been sought over here. Sibal said that they had not attended the party meeting and indulged in anti-party activity. They gave interviews that they want a floor test.
When the court sought to know, why the party has not expelled them, Sibal said, " I am not the party, I am the Speaker." The court then asked, can a person elected by the people not express his dissent. Voices of dissent cannot be suppressed and if done so, democracy will die, Justice Arun Mishra said.
The Speaker's contention is that the notice issued to the 19 rebel MLAs of the Congress, including Sachin Pilot on disqualification petition is part of the Assembly proceedings and hence cannot be interfered within the interim by the HC. He also contends that the HC could not have interfered with the proceedings by ordering a deferment till July 24.
He contended that the HC's order to him to defer the Tenth Schedule or anti-defection proceedings till July 24 is a direct intrusion by the judiciary into his exclusive domain.
Meanwhile, Sachin Pilot has filed a caveat seeking to be heard before any interim order is passed in the case.
On Tuesday, the Rajasthan HC had reserved its orders for Friday, while directing the Speaker not to go ahead with the disqualification proceedings against Sachin Pilot and the rebel MLAs.