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SC Allows Six Rajasthan MLAs to Withdraw Plea Seeking Transfer of Case from HC

PTI

Last Updated: August 11, 2020, 21:44 IST

The Supreme Court of India. (Image: PTI)

The Supreme Court of India. (Image: PTI)

These MLAs, who were elected on BSP ticket and later merged with the Congress, had requested the apex court to transfer to itself BJP MLA Madan Dilawar's plea, seeking their disqualification.

The Supreme Court Thursday allowed the withdrawal of petition filed by six Rajasthan MLAs seeking transfer of the plea pending against them in the high court to the apex court.



These six legislators, who were elected to the assembly on BSP ticket and later merged with the Congress Party, had requested the apex court to transfer to itself the BJP MLA Madan Dilawar's plea, seeking their disqualification for allegedly violating the party whip, which is pending in the Rajasthan High Court.



A counsel appearing for them told a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra that he has instruction to withdraw the plea.



Taking note of the submission by the counsel, the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, said "the counsel appearing for the petitioner (s) has prayed for withdrawal of this transfer petition. The transfer petition is, accordingly, dismissed as withdrawn, as prayed for".



The apex court also dealt with the separate petition filed by Dilawar who has challenged the high court's order which had refused to stay the functioning of these six MLAs as Congress legislators.



At the outset, the bench asked the lawyers appearing in the matter as to when the single judge bench of the high court would hear the matter pending there.



The bench was told that the high court was scheduled to hear the matter today itself. "As the high court is hearing the matter today and the parties have assured us that they are going to argue the matter, let the matter be argued before the high court," the bench said in its order and listed the matter on August 13.



Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Dilawar, said that the matter can go on before the high court but the issue is what is to be done in the meantime. Salve, while referring to the September last year order of merger passed by the Speaker, said there is a "curious situation" as the BSP is saying that they have not merged.



He said that the apex court should stay the Speaker's order of September last year. "Please stay the order of September 18. Speaker is supposed to be independent. Look at what he has done. It is contrary to Supreme Court's judgements," Salve said.



Senior advocate S C Mishra, appearing for BSP, said the six MLAs had went to the speaker saying they want to merge and the Speaker "straight away" passed order of merger. He said in the Rajasthan assembly also, these MLAs are not following the whip of BSP.



He said that BSP is a national party and spilt, if any, has to be at the national level. The bench said, "why should we hear this today? The high court is hearing the matter today".



The bench has posted the matter for hearing on August 13. Dilawar has challenged in the apex court the August 6 order of a division bench of high court which had disposed of his plea against the order of a single judge, who had refused to stay the functioning of these six MLAs as Congress legislators.



The single judge of high court had earlier not granted any interim relief and refused to put a stay on the participation of six MLAs in the proceedings of the House as Congress legislators. On July 30, the high court had sought response of the Assembly Speaker and its secretary on the pleas challenging the induction of the six MLAs into the Congress.



Two petitions have been filed in the high court, one by Dilawar and the other by BSP National Secretary SC Mishra. Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha contested and won the 2018 assembly election on a BSP ticket but they defected to Congress in September 2019.



They had submitted an application for the merger on September 16 last year and the Speaker allowed their induction into the Congress two days later. The merger was a boost to the Ashok Gehlot-led government as the tally of the Congress increased to 107 in the house of 200.



Dilawar has challenged the merger of the BSP MLAs into Congress, questioning Assembly Speaker CP Joshi's order dismissing his complaint without allowing him to have his say. Mishra has challenged in the high court the defection of the MLAs, but these legislators had not sought transfer of his plea to the Supreme Court.



first published:August 11, 2020, 21:44 IST
last updated:August 11, 2020, 21:44 IST