Rajasthan HC puts off hearing dissident Congress MLAs' amended plea till Friday 1 pm

Simran Kashyap

Jaipur, July 16: A division bench of the Rajasthan High Court will hear on Friday at 1pm a amended petition filed by Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident leaders, challenging notices from the Speaker over a Congress move to disqualify them from the state assembly.

A division bench was earlier expected to hear the petition at 7.30 pm but the matter was put off till 1 pm Friday.

Disqualification notice to Sachin Pilot, 18 MLAs brings issue of Speaker's power to fore

The petition first came up before Justice Satish Chandra Sharma at 3 pm. But advocate Harish Salve sought time to file a fresh petition. The matter was heard again at about 5 pm when the judge referred the fresh petition to a division bench.

The counsel to Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi earlier said the court had asked the advocates to appear again before it at 7.30 pm. But the court did not assemble for the hearing, which was put off. The postponement is a matter of concern for the dissident camp led by Pilot.

The notices say Speaker C P Joshi will take up the complaint filed against them by the Congress chief whip at 1 pm Friday, the time set by the high court for hearing their petition.

Earlier, Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi, who had written to the Speaker seeking the MLAs' disqualification, also approached the court, asking to be heard before it passes any order.

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.

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