The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear next week a plea filed by Maharashtra BJP MLA Girish Mahajan against the Bombay High Court judgment dismissing his plea challenging the validity of new rules of open voting method to elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the state Assembly.

A Bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Krishna Murari allowed urgent hearing of the matter after it was mentioned by Senior Advocate A M Singhvi on behalf of the Maharashtra government.

Singhvi informed the Court that the issue is related to whether the Chief Minister can recommend fixing of dates in election of a speaker.

"From December onwards, we are trying to get a date only. Meanwhile, the other side files SLP and doesn't get it listed. Now the Governor says the matter is sub-judice," Singhvi submitted.

He stated that the Governor says he won't fix a date and sought urgent listing saying the Assembly is "headless".

Mahajan, in the PIL, has alleged that the notification dated December 23, 2021 was illegally and arbitrarily issued by the Maharashtra government amending Rules 6 and 7 of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Rule, 1960, under which the secret ballot method was replaced with an open vote system through voice vote and show of hands.

The appeal said that the Bombay High Court has dismissed on March 9 the PIL filed by petitioner Mahajan that raised several substantial questions of laws having an impact on the general public at large. The appeal questioned whether Maharashtra Assembly Rules, 1960 are procedures established by law as held by this court in a plethora of cases.

Mahajan's appeal said that the MLA Rules are procedures established by law and cannot be derogated by the Assembly and such rules can only be amended as per the procedure established under the rules as applicable in the Maharashtra Assembly.

"The petitioner further submits that the Impugned Notification has been wrongly issued exercising powers under Rule 225 (3) of the MLA Rules which envisages a situation that there were no objections received by the committee to the proposed amendments," the petition said, and termed it erroneous.

With PTI inputs