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  India   All India  19 Mar 2024  SC refuses to stay disqualification of 6 Congress rebels in HP

SC refuses to stay disqualification of 6 Congress rebels in HP

Published : Mar 19, 2024, 1:35 am IST
Updated : Mar 19, 2024, 1:35 am IST

The bench posted the matter for hearing on May 6 and gave the petitioners one week to file a rejoinder

Supreme Court.(ANI)
 Supreme Court.(ANI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker's order disqualifying the six Congress rebels who had cross-voted in the recent Rajya Sabha polls in the state.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta issued a notice to the office of Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania returnable within four weeks on a plea by the six rebels challenging their disqualification from the Assembly.

The bench said that pending adjudication of their plea, these disqualified MLAs will not be allowed to vote or participate in the proceedings of the Assembly.

"We can issue notice on the petition, that's fine but there cannot be a stay (on the disqualification order). That will not be permissible for this court. Second, as far as a fresh election is concerned, this we will have to examine. But we will not allow you to vote or participate in proceedings of the House. On this we are very clear...," Justice Khanna told senior Advocate Harish Salve, representing the six rebels.

The bench then posted the matter for hearing on May 6 and gave the petitioners one week to file a rejoinder. The bench asked the office of the Assembly speaker to file its counter affidavit in four weeks.The filing of nominations for the six vacant assembly seats starts on May 7.

The six rebels -- Sudhir Sharma, Ravi Thakur, Rajinder Rana, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Chetanya Sharma and Devinder Kumar Bhutto -- were disqualified on February 29, for defying a Congress whip to be present in the House and vote in favour of the Himachal Pradesh government during the cut motion and budget.

During the hearing, Salve said that after the voting in the Rajya Sabha election on February 27, the petitioners were issued a notice to appear before the speaker for their comments on disqualification.

"We appeared as asked and told the speaker that we have not got the copy of the petition seeking disqualification," the counsel said.

If the disqualification order was not stayed, their petition would become infructuous, he contended.

"At the end, we should not be told that the election has been held and now someone else has come in," Mr Salve said.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the office of the Speaker, said the notification for the election has been issued and various judgments of the court say once an election has been notified, it cannot be stayed.

Justice Khanna told Singhvi that the court is not going to stay the disqualification.

"As far as the question of staying the fresh election is concerned, that will have to be examined. Otherwise, their petition will become infructuous," he said.


Tags: himachal pradesh congress, rajya sabha polls
Location: India, Himachal Pradesh