Jaipur: The hearing on a petition filed by Congress rebel Sachin Pilot and 18 other party MLAs against disqualification notices issued to them by the Assembly Speaker will continue in the Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday.
During the hearing on Monday, Abhishek Manu Singhvi made the arguments on behalf of Speaker C.P. Joshi, saying the Speaker had simply sent a notice to the MLAs, and did not disqualify them.
“The petition of the Pilot camp is premature and it should be rejected,” he argued.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, who represented the Pilot group, said that toppling the government was a different matter and choosing a different Chief Minister was another matter.
Earlier on Friday, Salve had said that no activity outside the Legislative Assembly could be considered a violation of the Anti-defection Act. The session was not running, hence the whip issued by the Speaker held no meaning, he had contended.
He argued that the dissident MLAs wanted to challenge the anti-defection law enshrined in the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.
The hearing was then adjourned till Monday and the Speaker was asked not to take any action against the petitioners till Tuesday.
It needs to be mentioned here that Joshi had issued a notice on July 14 to 19 MLAs, including Pilot, asking why they should not be disqualified from the Legislative Assembly.
The Speaker had taken action on a complaint by Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi.
These legislators who have been served the notice include Sachin Pilot, Ramesh Meena, Indraj Gurjar, Gajraj Khatana, Rakesh Pareek, Murari Meena, P.R. Meena, Suresh Modi, Bhanwar Lal Sharma, Vedprakash Solanki, Mukesh Bhakar, Ramnivas Gavadia, Harish Meena, Brijendra Ola, Hemaram Chaudhary, Vishvendra Singh, Amar Singh, Dipendra Singh and Gajendra Shaktawat.
While the Pilot camp is being represented by two of India’s top lawyers, Harish Salve and former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, the Rajasthan Speaker is being represented by Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
The rebels have argued that they can’t be served such notices when the Rajasthan Assembly is not in session.