Pilot and the 18 dissident Congress MLAs have challenged their disqualification notices in the high court through a writ petition. The petition was taken up by a bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta on Friday and arguments were held. The high court had on Friday given a four-day reprieve to Sachin Pilot and other Congress dissidents from any action by Rajasthan Speaker on the disqualification notices served on them by extending the hearing into their petition.
The hearing continued on Monday but it remained inconclusive and resumed on Tuesday. 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.