The political crisis in Rajasthan reached the Supreme Court on Wednesday with assembly speaker CP Joshi filing a speacial leave petition (SLP) against a high court order that asked him not to decide the disqualification notices he had issued to the group of 19 lawmakers led by Sachin Pilot.
In his petition, Joshi called the order “illegal, perverse, and in derogation of the powers of the Speaker”.
“The proceedings under the Tenth Schedule before the Speaker are proceedings of the legislature and as such cannot interfered with as repeatedly held by this Hon’ble Court as envisaged under Article 212 read with para 6(2) of the Tenth Schedule,” the Speaker said in his petition.
The high court’s order restrained the Speaker from even calling and conducting the disqualification proceedings pending against the respondents till July 24, the petition said.
The petition further stated that the high court order violated Kihoto Hollohan case decided by the Supreme Court in 1992.
In that case, a Constitution bench of five judges expressly held that courts cannot interdict the Speaker from proceeding ahead at the quia timet stage (apprehension of injunction).
The high court had on Tuesday told the Speaker not to move forward on the disqualification notices till Friday when the judges are expected to deliver its ruling.
Sachin Pilot and 18 lawmakers close to him were issued disqualification notices last week on a complaint from the Congress that has accused them of trying to topple the Ashok Gehlot government.
Joshi had announced his decision to move the Supreme Court at a press conference on Wednesday morning where he warned that they were “heading for a constitutional crisis”.
“I don’t want a confrontation. I respect the judges… but the roles are well defined,” Joshi had told reporters.
The Speaker has twice before deferred his deadline for action on the notices as the court proceedings continued beyond the expected time.
The deferment on Tuesday is being construed as a breather for the Pilot camp.
Mahesh Joshi, the Congress’ chief whip, had sought the disqualification of rebel MLAs from the assembly due to their abstinence from the CLP meet.