Jaipur: Sacked deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and 18 MLAs, who challenged notices for disqualification issued by the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker in the high court, moved an application before the court on Thursday (July 23) to include the Union government in the list of respondents.

The application was moved on the ground that Tenth Schedule's constitutional validity was under challenge and therefore, the Union of India was a necessary party now.

An identical application was also filed in the Supreme Court where the Rajasthan Speaker filed a special leave petition (SLP).

On Friday, the dissident Congress MLAs led by Pilot challenged their disqualification notices through a writ petition which was taken up by a bench of Rajasthan high court, comprising Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta, and arguments were held.

The hearing continued on Monday and the arguments concluded on Tuesday. The court will give an appropriate order in the writ petition on Friday (July 24).

The notices to MLAs were served after the party complained to the speaker that the legislators had defied a whip to attend two Congress Legislature Party meetings on Monday and Tuesday last week.

The Pilot camp, however, argued that a party whip applies only when the assembly is in session.

In its complaint to the Legislative Assembly Speaker, the Congress had sought action against Pilot and the other dissidents under paragraph 2 (1) (a) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.

The provision disqualifies MLAs if they ''voluntarily'' give up the membership of the party which they represent in the House.

Pilot was sacked as deputy chief minister and the president of the state unit of the party after he rebelled against chief minister Ashok Gehlot.

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