The Rajasthan High Court’s division bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mohanty and Justice Prakash Gupta on Wednesday sought a reply from Speaker CP Joshi. The Rajasthan High Court sought the reply by Thursday morning in connection with a petition challenging the merger of six BSP MLAs into Congress.
Two petitions against merger of MLAs
BJP MLA Madan Dilawar has also filed a petition challenging the legal validity of the merger.
The high court is hearing the pleas of both the BJP and BSP simultaneously. Earlier, a bench of Justice Prakash Gupta issued notices to the Speaker and all the six BSP MLAs to furnish their replies by August 11. But the BSP made a plea that that as the BSP MLAs are confined to a hotel in Jaisalmer, there would be difficulties in serving them court notices, so the division Bench should hear the petition.
The BSP in its plea asked the court to prohibit the BSP MLAs from casting their votes in the state Assembly which has been convened from August 14. The BSP in its fresh appeal sought to put aside the September 19, 2019, order of the Speaker allowing the merger of the BSP MLAs with Congress. The single bench order refused to stay the Speaker’s order of the merger of the six MLAs.
The BSP’s petition stated that the single judge bench while refusing the interim relief sought by the BSP, failed to appreciate that the order of September 19, 2019, declaring the merger ex-parte is unsustainable.
The BSP submitted that the Speaker accepted the claims of the BSP MLAs for merger even though there was no merger of the national party nor it was claimed by the BSP MLAs while seeking the merger with the Congress.
BSP questioned the Speaker’s order that Joshi did not ascertain whether the national party BSP has merged with the Indian National Congress at the national level.
Meanwhile, the petition of the rebel Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma seeking to quash the FIR registered against him and others by the Special Operations Group on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy will come up for hearing on August 13 again in the high court.
The SOG has dropped the sedition charges against Bhanwar Lal Sharma and others. The investigation against Sharma has been transferred to the anti-corruption bureau now.
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