Rajasthan Speaker withdraws SC petition in Sachin Pilot case, calls it 'infructuous'

While withdrawing the plea, Sibal told the bench that the appeal had become infructuous as the apex court did not stay the earlier high court order passed on July 21 asking the Speaker to defer disqualification proceedings.

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NEW DELHI: Rajasthan assembly Speaker CP Joshi on Monday withdrew from the Supreme Court his plea challenging the high court order restraining him from acting on the disqualification notices issued by him to the rebel Congress MLAs led by former deputy CM Sachin Pilot.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal sought the top court’s nod to withdraw his plea and was granted permission to do so. “The high court has passed a fresh order on July 24, which has raised several other issues including interpretation of the 10th Schedule.” “The high court has passed a 32-page order. We have to weigh our legal options on what to do next,” he said.

Sibal hinted that the Speaker may now challenge Friday’s high court order directing a status quo to be maintained regarding the disqualification notices issued by him to the rebels on July 14.


The Speaker had issued the notices asking the rebels to respond within three days on why they should not be disqualified as House members under the anti-defection law for giving up their party membership voluntarily by hobnobbing with the opposition, prompting them to move court.

The high court had initially asked the Speaker to defer the disqualification notices but had later ordered him not to proceed while it decided the issue. The Speaker went to the top court against this binding direction in an area which was his exclusive domain.

He said that the courts cannot direct him on how he should use his powers. It was only after he took a call on the disqualification after hearing the rebels that the court can subject his decision to a judicial review, he had contended.
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But the Supreme Court had refused to interfere either with the high court order or the proceedings and instead deferred a hearing till Monday. The high court subsequently asked that status quo be maintained on the disqualification notices till the apex court heard the case.

The 10th Schedule provides for disqualification should a member defect to a party other than the party from which he contested and won elections. But the weak law has over the years been further diluted by the courts erasing the difference between the consequence of resigning and defecting from a party.

Even if an elected member defects, his defection continues only till he is re-elected. Since re-election to a vacant seat is within six months, the law has no teeth.
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