A DAY ahead of Rajasthan Speaker C P Joshi taking up the matter of the Assembly membership of the 19 rebel Congress MLAs, including Sachin Pilot, they filed a petition before the High Court citing violation of their freedom of speech and expression, and challenging the anti-defection law.
In the petition, that makes Joshi as well as Assembly Secretary Pramil Kumar Mathur parties, the MLAs said no offence had been made out against them, and that the disqualification notices to them on the ground of defection went against their right to freedom of speech.
The MLAs were represented by former Solicitor General of India Harish Salve and ex-Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, among others, while Rajasthan Advocate General M S Singhvi and Abhishek Manu Singhvi were part of the team that appeared for the respondents.
Just as the hearing in the case began at 3 pm on Thursday in the court of Justice Satish Kumar Sharma, Salve sought time to amend their petition. In the amended petition, filed at 5 pm, the MLAs essentially made two arguments: that they did not violate the clause under which their disqualification had been sought, and that the clause itself violated the right to freedom of speech and expression.