Supreme Court Allows Rajasthan Speaker to Withdraw Appeal against High Court's July 21 Order

Supreme Court Allows Rajasthan Speaker to Withdraw Appeal against High Court's July 21 Order

The Supreme Court allowed the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker on Monday to withdraw his appeal against the high court's order asking him to defer till July 24 the disqualification proceedings against sacked deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and 18 dissident Congress MLAs.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Speaker C P Joshi, told a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra that the Rajasthan High Court had passed a fresh order on Friday and they were weighing the legal options.

While withdrawing the plea, Sibal told the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, that the appeal had become infructuous as the apex court did not stay the earlier high court order passed last Tuesday asking the Speaker to defer the disqualification proceedings till Friday.

"The SLP (special leave petition) is withdrawn with liberty to file a fresh SLP and keeping all grounds open," advocate Sunil Fernandes, who also represents Joshi, said.

The high court had ordered on Friday maintenance of status quo on the disqualification notice issued by the Speaker to 19 dissident Congress MLAs, including Pilot.

The apex court had on Thursday refused to restrain the high court from passing an order on a plea by Pilot and 18 other legislators challenging the disqualification notice against them.

The top court had said the high court order would be subject to the outcome of petition pending before the apex court.

Observing that "voice of dissent" in a democracy cannot be shut down, the apex court had refused to accept Joshi's request to either stay the matter pending before the high court or transfer it to the top court.

The court had said that the issue raised in the appeal by the Speaker required "prolonged hearing" as it involved "larger question" related to democracy and how it would survive.