Sachin Pilot's plea on disqualification at 3 pm
July 16, 2020  14:49
Update: The Rajasthan High Court will hear Thursday afternoon a petition filed on behalf of the Sachin Pilot camp, challenging a move to disqualify dissident MLAs from the state assembly. The plea against the disqualification notices sent from the Speaker's office to Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs will be heard by Justice Satish Chandra Sharma. Abhishek Manu Singhvi will represent the Speaker.

The 19 MLAs were sent notices Tuesday by the Speaker after the Congress complained that they had defied a party whip to attend two Congress Legislature Party meetings. The Pilot camp, however, argues that a party whip applies only when the assembly is in session.

In its complaint to the Speaker, the Congress sought action against Pilot and the other dissidents under paragraph 2 (1) (a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. The provision disqualifies MLAs if they voluntarily give up the membership of the party which they represent in the House. The Congress said in the letter to Speaker C P Joshi that the Supreme Court has unequivocally held in the past that the provision comes into effect when the conduct of an MLA leads to this inference. 

Among those sent notices are Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena, who were sacked along with Pilot from the state cabinet after their rebellion against Ashok Gehlot. 

Others include Deepender Singh Shekhawat, Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Harish Chandra Meena, who had also given statements to the media challenging the Gehlot government. Sachin Pilot has been upset since the Congress picked Gehlot for the chief minister's post after the 2018 assembly polls. In the 200-member assembly, the Congress has 107 MLAs and the BJP 72. -- PTI
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