The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to accede to Rajasthan Assembly Speaker’s request to stay the Rajasthan High Court proceedings on Sachin Pilot and MLAs’ petition against disqualification notice.
The apex court also allowed the High Court to pass an order on the matter on Friday but said that it will be subjected to the outcome of the proceedings in the top court.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari took up the matter through video conferencing.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing Sachin Pilot, contended before the bench that there is no need to stay, as the Speaker have taken a chance in the High Court and he cannot ask for a stay now.
The bench noted that this matter has to be heard at length, and this will require a detailed hearing. “Your questions require a lengthy hearing,” the bench told senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi.
Sibal contended that the apex court should suspend the High Court order.
The bench replied, but that is what we need to examine.
Sibal replied then the apex court should transfer the High Court petition here. The bench said: “not now”.
Sibal asked the top court for an order to stay any further proceedings before the High Court.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, also representing Pilot, questioned the political overtones of the Speaker. “If Speaker can himself agree to defer twice, why can’t he wait for another 24 hours?” Rohatgi argued.
The apex court observed that these are important questions relating to democracy.
“How will democracy function? These are very serious issues. We want to hear it,” said the bench.
Salve also pointed out that the Rajasthan Speaker had deferred the proceedings on his own twice in the past, and the issues of jurisdiction and maintainability have been argued before the High Court.
The bench replied, can we say an order of the High Court will be subject to the outcome here? Salve agreed. The apex court will continue to hear the matter on Monday.