In Rajasthan, the Sachin Pilot-led Congress party has already enquired the Supreme Court to contemplate its requisition so that no court can scrutinize or intervene before the Speaker of the House has taken the verdict. The case against the Congress party has strived to nullify & aims to disqualify Pilot and 18 other MLAs from the legislature.
The Rajasthan High Court today vetoed any prosecution against him for now. It has not inferred when it will hear the case. In this case, Congress disagrees, the Speaker has not yet agreed on whether he will move to disqualify Team Pilot. He has only solicited them to clarify why they violated party orders to head meetings chaired by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who was Pilot’s boss till newly.
The five crucial points that the Rajasthan High Court will address in its verdict on the Congress vs Sachin Pilot:
Congress holds that Pilot has violated anti-defection laws. But is dissent or strong opinions expressed against the party outside the Assembly, a sign of a legislator having switched sides?
Do existing anti-defection laws, meant to curb horse-trading, encroach upon freedom of expression?
Does the Speaker’s action of sending notices to Team Pilot, asking them to explain why they should not be disqualified, violate the essence of democracy by seeking to “throttle dissent against those in power”?
Does criticising the Chief Minister amount to voluntarily giving up membership of a political party?
Does the Supreme Court ruling in 1992, which looked at the powers of the Speaker in deciding disputes over defection, address dissent within a party as well? And can the High Court review these issues, listed above, despite the decades-old verdict of the top court?
It will be pretty interesting to see how the political events unfold in the days to come and who will have an edge over the other.