Petition in SC against Rajasthan HC order rejecting plea seeking RS poll results be not declared

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Ashok Gehlot with other Congress leaders in Rajasthan Assembly

New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court against an order of the Rajasthan High Court which had dismissed an application seeking interim relief that results of the Rajya Sabha elections be not declared till disposal of a petition pertaining to disqualification of six MLAs of the state.

The matter was mentioned for urgent listing on Friday before a vacation bench of Justices M R Shah and Aniruddha Bose.

The bench said the apex court registry has sent the matter to the Chief Justice of India and they have not received any communication from the CJI’s office.

The top court observed that it has no difficulty in hearing the plea provided the CJI’s office grants permission for its listing.

“We have inquired from the registry and registry said that the matter is sent to the Chief Justice but they have not received any communication or response from the chief justice’s office,” the bench said.

“We have no authority as observed earlier by another bench also. Unless the Chief Justice grants permission, we cannot do anything,” it said.

The counsel told the bench that they had approached the mentioning registrar also but the matter has not come up in the list today.

“You wait. If the Chief Justice grants the permission, we will take up the matter,” it observed.

The high court had passed the order on Thursday on an application seeking interim relief that results of the Rajya Sabha polls be not declared till the disposal of a writ petition in a matter pertaining to disqualification of six MLAs, who were originally elected as members of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and were later on considered as members of the Congress party.

The high court had noted in its order that the matter is now pending before the apex court and there is no interim order passed by the top court.

“In the present PIL filed by the petitioner, even notices have not been issued to the other side. It is also evident that during the pendency of the present PIL, elections to the Rajya Sabha were held and members were elected to the Rajya Sabha,” it had said.

“Petitioner at that time also did not press for any interim relief. Hence, we are not inclined to entertain the present application for interim relief as the election process has already been commenced and election is scheduled to take place tomorrow,” the high court had said in its order passed on Thursday.

In January last year, the apex court had sought responses from the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker and others on two separate petitions against the merger of six BSP MLAs with the ruling Congress legislature party in the state in September 2019.

The top court was hearing separate petitions, including the one filed by the BSP, against the August 24, 2020 order passed by the Rajasthan High Court.

The high court had dismissed the BSP’s petition against the September 18, 2019 order passed by the Assembly Speaker approving the merger. It had, however, given liberty to the BSP to file a disqualification petition with the Speaker raising plea of defection of the six MLAs.

The merger was a boost to the Ashok Gehlot-led state government as the tally of the Congress increased to over 100 in the House of 200 MLAs.

The six MLAs had contested and won the 2018 Assembly elections on BSP tickets but later merged with the Congress in September 2019.