The Rajasthan Speaker on Monday withdrew the petition filed by him in the Supreme Court challenging the July 21 direction passed by the Rajasthan High Court to extend the time for 19 Congress MLAs led by Sachin Pilot to submit replies to the disqualification notices.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Speaker, CP Joshi, submitted before a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra that the High Court has passed a fresh order on July 24. Therefore, the July 21 order has merged with the July 24 order, he added.
"We have to weight our legal options on what do next", Sibal said.
Following that, the bench allowed the petition to be withdrawn, granting liberty to file a fresh Special Leave Petitin and by keeping all contentions open .
The impugned direction was passed by the High Cout while reserving judgment on the petition filed by the rebel MLAs challenging the Speaker's disqualification notices.
This was challenged by the Speaker contending that HC had no jurisdiction to interfere with the Speaker's decision at an interim stage before finalising the disqualification proceedings.
On July 23, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra of the SC had decided to hear the petition in detail, saying that "serious questions relating to democracy" were involved.
The bench, however, had refused to stay the proceedings in the HC but said that the judgment to be passed by HC will be subject to the orders of the SC.
On the next day, the High Court passed an order, holding the petition to be maintainable, and directing the Speaker to maintain 'status quo', till the time the Court hears the petition next. The Court did not grant any next date for hearing.
Meanwhile, a fresh political drama is brewing in Rajasthan after the Governor, Kalraj Mishra, stalled the move of Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, to summon the assembly session.
It was on July 14 that the Speaker, Dr C P Joshi, served the notices on the 19 dissident MLAs, including Pilot, amid their rebellion against Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot. They were initially given time till 1 PM, July 17 to submit the replies.
The basis of the notices was the complaint filed by Mahesh Joshi, the Congress Party Whip, who alleged that rebel MLAs had attracted disqualification under Tenth Schedule of the Constitution with their anti-party statements and refusal to attend the party meetings on July 13 and 14, defying the whip's directives.
Meanwhile, the 19 MLAs approached the High Court on July 16, challenging the Speaker's action. The Court started hearing the matter on July 17, and in view of the pendency of the proceedings, the Speaker extended the time for reply.