Jaipur | Jagran News Desk: The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday reserved its order till Friday, July 24 on a plea filed by former deputy CM Sachin Pilot and 18 of his loyalist MLAs against disqualification notices sent to them by Assembly Speaker CP Joshi. A bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta heard the arguments of both the parties and told the Speaker that no action will be taken against Pilot and other 18 legislators till Friday.

The sacked Rajasthan Congress chief and 18 rebel MLAs had challenged the disqualification notices served by the Speaker last week for their involvement in "anti-party activities". The team Pilot argued in the court that the notices were served on the same day of receiving a complaint from the Congress party and that they were given just three days to respond amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

"In the middle of the pandemic, only three days' time was given to the MLAs to respond to the notice. The reading of these facts leaves no manner of doubt that the decision (to suspend MLAs) is a foregone conclusion," Senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the team Pilot said.

 

The Speaker, however, argued that the petition filed by Pilot and the rebel MLAs is "premature" and there was no scope for interference by the court given the decision on their disqualification was still pending.

"The rebels don't have grounds to question the Speaker until the Speaker gives a decision. The Speaker and the assembly are not in the judicial purview of the court for now," Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Speaker, told the High Court.

CM Ashok Gehlot calls Cabinet meeting

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has called a crucial Cabinet meeting on Tuesday evening, during which a decision to call the Legislative Assembly session may be taken. According to reports, the Cabinet can call Assembly session, not for the floor test but to discuss the prevailing coronavirus pandemic and other issues.

This can be a strategy to prepare the ground for Pilot and the team's disqualification as a whip is likely to be issued to all MLAs in case the Gehlot Cabinet calls the Assembly session. If the whip is issued by the chief whip, all MLAs, including the rebels will have to attend the session.

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma