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Rajasthan HC to deliver verdict on BSP merger issue on Aug 17

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The Rajasthan High Court is likely to deliver its verdict on Monday on the petitions challenging the merger of the six BSP MLAs into the Congress. Speaker CP Joshi had approved the merger of the six BSP MLAs in September 2019. The court had reserved its order on Friday.

The single-judge bench of Justice Mahendra Goyal is also expected to pronounce the order on a petition filed by BJP MLA Madan Dilawar. Notably, the BJP MLA has also challenged the merger.

No relief to BSP from SC

A petition on a similar issue is being heard by the Supreme Court and it would also come for hearing on Monday.

Prior to the convening of the Assembly by the governor, the Rajasthan High Court had ordered that the Speaker will not issue any order on the disqualification petition of the six BSP MLAs filed by one Vijay Singh till the court pronounces its order on Monday.

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The petitioners—BSP and Madan Dilawar—had moved a petition in the Supreme Court demanding the transfer of the petition from the high court to the Supreme Court which was rejected by the apex court.

The court had also refused to give any interim relief to the petitioners who wanted to restrain the BSP MLAs from voting on August 14.

BSP’s whip

The former BSP MLAs who merged with Congress were surprisingly issued a whip by the BSP ordering them not to vote in favour of the Congress. The whip provided that if it is not honoured by the six MLAs, they would be liable for action by the party. Unmindful of the whip, the six MLAs participated in the voice vote that the ruling party sought in the trust motion.

The six MLAs said that the BSP’s whip has no meaning as they are now part of the Congress and no more BSP legislators.

Constitutional crisis

The counsels for the six petitioners—senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, Devdutt Kamat and Girdhari Singh Bapna—had completed their arguments on Friday. The lawyers had argued that if the petition against the six MLAs was upheld, it would lead to a constitutional crisis. They contended that it would deprive the Speaker of his powers under paragraph 6(1) of the Tenth Schedule.

 

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