The Rajasthan High Court on Monday dismissed a plea of a BJP MLA questioning the alleged inaction of the state assembly Speaker on his complaint challenging his decision to allow the merger of all six BSP MLAs with the Congress in 2019.
A bench of Justice Mahendra Kumar Goyal dismissed the BJP MLA Madan Dilawar’s plea as having become infructuous after the legislator’s counsel Harish Salve told the court that his client was informed by the Speaker’s secretariat that an order dismissing his complaint has been passed. Communication has been received from speaker’s secretariat today which says an order has been passed by the speaker and as such the writ petition has become infructuous and we need to file a fresh petition challenging that order, Salve told the court.
At this, the bench dismissed Dilawar’s petition. The MLA had moved the high court on Friday and the hearing on his plea was taken up on Monday when it was dismissed following Salve’s submissions. Even as the hearing on Dilawar’s plea was going on in the court, the MLA staged a dharna’ in the chamber of Rajasthan assembly secretary, demanding a copy of the order passed by the Speaker on his petition challenging the merger of six BSP MLAs to the Congress.
Dilwar told reporters later that he came to know only yesterday that the speaker has decided his petition but he was neither heard nor was given a copy of the order. Speaker C P Joshi decided my petition against the merger without hearing me. I was not aware of this. Today, I reached the assembly secretariat to obtain a copy of the decision but I had to stage a dharna to get it, he said. The copy was given to Dilawar after which he called off the dharna.
The secretary informed me that intimation was dispatched by post but I have not received any such communication, he said. Dilawar had moved the Speaker’s office in March this year challenging the induction of all six BSP MLAs to Congress. BSP candidates Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha had contested the 2018 assembly elections successfully on their party tickets and they all had defected to the Congress in September 2019.
They applied for the merger of their six-member group with the Congress on September 16, 2019 and the Speaker allowed the merger two days later on September 18. In his writ petition to the high court, Dilawar had said he came to know through information in the public domain that on a similar petition filed by Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi on July 14 seeking disqualification of his party’s 19 rebel MLAs, the Speaker had issued notices to all the MLAs on the same day with three days to reply.
In my case, notices were not issued by him for four months, he had said. The Merger of BSP MLAs to the ruling Congress was a boost to the Ashok Gehlot-led government as the Congress’ tally increased to 107 in the House of 200.