The Bombay High Court on Friday issued notices to the Goa Assembly Speaker and eight MLAs, who shifted allegiance from the Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2022, on a plea seeking direction to the Speaker to decide on a disqualification petition pending against the legislators within 90 days.
A special Goa bench of the High Court comprising Justices B P Colabawalla and Bharat P Deshpande issued the notices to Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar and the eight MLAs, and sought their reply within two weeks.
The disqualification petition was filed by former Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Girish Chodankar before the Speaker on November 11, 2022, two months after the cross-over by the then-Opposition MLAs.
The eight Congress MLAs had joined the ruling BJP in September 2022.
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State Advocate General Devidas Pangam told reporters that the bench has asked the respondents to file their reply within two weeks.
“The contention of the petitioner is that his petition should be decided on an urgent basis,” he said.
“Chodankar moved the HC on February 2, 2023, with a plea to direct the Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker to decide on his disqualification petition against the eight Congress MLAs who have defected within 90 days,” said advocate Abhijit Gosavi, who represented the Opposition party leader.
The next hearing in the matter will take place on February 24, he added.