Supreme Court on Thursday has rejected Rajasthan assembly speaker CP Joshi’s plea to intervene in the Rajasthan High Court’s July 21 order to defer the disqualification of Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs till July 24.
“Can a person elected by people not express his dissent?” Voice of dissent cannot be suppressed. In a democracy, can somebody be shut down like this?” stated Justice Arun Mishra.
The top court has allowed high court to proceed and give its order on Friday over the plea filed by Sachin Pilot and 18 dissident MLAs against the notice issued by speaker CP Joshi for the disqualification of MLAs.
CP Joshi argued that the High court cannot restrain him from initiating the disqualification of the former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other loyalists.
Senior counsel Kapil Sibbal appearing for speaker CP Joshi contended, “the high court cannot direct the Speaker to extend the time to file replies to the anti-defection notices and the court was wrong as it is not in its jurisdiction. This is against settled law on this point.”
Kapil Sibbal further argued that there cannot be a protective order at such a time when HC has extended the reply on notices.
SC bench asked the petitioner party the grounds on which disqualification was sought.
“MLAs didn’t attend party meet; they were indulging in anti-party activities. They were in a Haryana hotel, incommunicado, and sought floor test against their own party” replied Kapil Sibbal. He also mentioned that it is only the speaker whose decision will matter and not of the court.
Justice AK Mishra cited, “Assume a leader has lost the faith of persons. While remaining in party they cannot be disqualified. Then this will become a tool and no one can raise their voice. The voice of dissent in a democracy cannot be suppressed like this”.
The bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, also comprising of Justice BR Gavai and Krishna Murari noted that the Rajasthan High Court has only requested CP Joshi to wait till July 24. To which, the speaker’s counsel has sought suspension of the word “direction” and stated that High Court cannot do that.
Apex court dismissed CP Joshi’s plea while stating, “So the problem is only with the word? Order everywhere says ‘request’.”