Rajasthan HC allows Centre as party to proceedings in disqualification matter

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court on Friday allowed the application moved by sacked Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and 18 dissident Congress MLAs seeking impleadment of the Union of India as a party to the proceedings in the disqualification matter.
A bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta allowed the application that was moved by the petitioners on Thursday.
The court then adjourned for 20 minutes.
The application for impleadment was moved on the grounds that the constitutional amendment is under challenge and, therefore, the Union of India is a necessary party now.
The dissident Congress MLAs led by Pilot have challenged their disqualification notices through the writ petition which was taken up by the bench on Friday last week and arguments were held.
The hearing continued on Monday and the arguments concluded on Tuesday. The court on Tuesday said it will give appropriate order on the writ petition on Friday.
The notices to MLAs were served after the party complained to the Speaker that the legislators had defied a whip to attend two Congress Legislature Party meetings, on Monday and Tuesday last week.
The Pilot camp, however, argued that a party whip applies only when the assembly is in session.
In its complaint to the Legislative Assembly Speaker, the Congress had sought action against Pilot and the other dissidents under paragraph 2 (1) (a) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.
The provision disqualifies MLAs if they ‘voluntarily’ give up the membership of the party which they represent in the House.
Pilot was sacked as deputy chief minister and the president of the state unit of the party after he rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. (AGENCIES)