New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday (July 23) refused the request of Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi to stay the state high court proceedings on Sachin Pilot and rebel MLAs’ petition against disqualification notice and posted the matter for detailed hearing on July 27.

 The HC had restrained him till July 24 from conducting disqualification proceedings against 19 dissident Congress MLAs.

A Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari said, “Rajasthan Speaker’s petition against HC order asking him to defer disqualification process till July 24 requires detailed hearing. No stay of HC order. But the outcome of any order by HC will be subject to the decision of SC. Next hearing on July 27.”

To which senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Speaker, told the top court that then let HC order be stayed or matter will become infructuous. If not stayed, it will be giving rebel MLAs time to do what they want.

He added that the state high court has no jurisdiction to restrain him from conducting disqualification proceedings till July 24, adding that courts could only intervene when the Speaker takes a decision to suspend or disqualify a member of the House. “The proceedings under the Tenth Schedule before the Speaker are proceedings of the Legislature and as such cannot be interfered with,” Sibal said.

In his petition, Joshi sought an interim stay on the high court’s direction, and said it was “illegal, perverse and in derogation of the powers of the Speaker under the Constitution”. Hours after Joshi filed his petition, Pilot filed a caveat in the Supreme Court urging it to hear him before passing any order.

Granting temporary relief to Pilot and his MLAs, the Rajasthan high court on Tuesday deferred its order on their petition challenging the disqualification notices, till July 24. It also asked the Speaker to extend the period given to the rebel MLAs to reply to his notice till then. The Speaker later agreed to defer any action “till the evening of July 24”.

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