SC to hear on Jan 7 pleas against HC order on 6 BSP Rajasthan MLAs joining Congress

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New Delhi, Jan 4 (PTI) The Supreme Court Monday said it would hear on January 7 the appeals of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and BJP MLA Madan Dilawar against the Rajasthan High Court order asking the Assembly Speaker to decide within three months a disqualification petition against all the six BSP MLAs 'merging' with the ruling Congress party.

A bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer and K M Joseph listed the appeals for further hearing on Thursday.

On August 24, the high court had asked the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker to decide within three months the disqualification petition filed by Dilawar against the merger of six BSP MLAs with the Congress. Allowing Dilawar's plea partially, the high court had set aside the July 22 order of the Speaker rejecting the disqualification petition filed by him in March last year.

It had dismissed a writ petition filed by the BSP in the matter, while giving the party liberty to file a disqualification petition with the Speaker.

Dilawar had filed the petition in the high court challenging the merger of six MLAs - Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha - with the Congress and demanded a stay on the execution of the order passed by the Speaker.

The top court had on the same day disposed of as 'infructuous' Dilawar's plea seeking stay on the Rajasthan Speaker's decision, which allowed the six BSP MLAs to merge with the Congress after the high court had passed its order on the same issue. The six MLAs had contested and won the 2018 assembly elections on BSP tickets but later defected to the Congress party in September 2019.

The MLAs had submitted an application for the merger on September 16, 2019 and the Speaker issued an order on September 18, 2019. Dilawar has said that the six BSP MLAs have been wrongly allowed by the Speaker to merge with the ruling Congress party.

The merger was a boost to the Ashok Gehlot-led state government as the tally of the Congress increased to over 100 in the house of 200 MLAs. PTI MNL ABA SJK SA