Apex court dismisses plea seeking disqualification of 18 Rajasthan MLAs

June 17th, 2008 - 8:09 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday dismissesd a petition seeking disqualification of 18 Rajasthan MLAs. The petitioner alleged they had violated their oath of office by adopting a partisan stance on the Gujjar row last year. A vacation Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and G.S. Singhvi, while refusing to entertain the plea by Kashi Purohit, asked him to seek alternative remedy at an appropriate court.

According to the petitioner, the MLAs belonging to the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had indulged in “competitive politics by either supporting or opposing the Gujjar row and making inflammatory speeches” during the 2007 agitation.

Purohit approached the apex court challenging the order of a single bench of the Rajasthan High Court, which had dismissed his petition.

Purohit had initially moved the then governor, who had on July 13, 2007, dismissed his plea for disqualification of the 18 MLAs, including some ministers.

The Gujjars are classified as Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Rajasthan but are demanding Scheduled Tribe status that would give them a bigger share of the jobs and education quota pie.

Last year, Gujjars held protests all over Rajasthan from May 29 to June 4 to press for Scheduled Tribe status. At least 26 people were killed in the violence then.

They began their agitation on May 23 this year. The violent protests have claimed 39 lives.

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