A special division bench of the Bombay High Court bench in Goa, will now hear a petition challenging Goa legislative assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar’s ruling in April this year rejecting the disqualification of 10 former Congress MLAs, after Justice M.S. Sonak recused himself from hearing the case.
“Justice Sonak recused in the matter stating that he had appeared for some of the respondents earlier. The matter now will have to be listed before a special division bench…” state Congress president Girish Chodankar said on Monday.
The matter had come up at a virtual hearing on Monday, during which senior advocate Kapil Sibal appeared on behalf of the Congress party, while Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta appeared for Patnekar.
On April 20 this year, the Goa Speaker had passed two orders rejecting two separate petitions filed against 12 current BJP MLAs — ten former Congress MLAs and two former MLAs of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party — which had sought their disqualification for illegally merging their respective party units into the BJP.
In the petition filed before the High Court which has challenged the Speaker’s ruling, Chodankar has said that the merger by the 10 ex-Congress MLAs was not valid. The petition also states that a resolution purportedly passed on July 10, 2019 by the ten then Congress MLAs merging the breakaway Congress unit into the BJP at a meeting of the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee, was never passed and that the resolution was allegedly a forged document.