Karnataka crisis: Midnight drama in Supreme Court paves way for Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in

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In a sensational development, the Karnataka unit of the BJP on Wednesday announced the date and time for BS Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in ceremony even before Governor Vajubhai Vala made the announcement public.

 

Karnataka BJP’s tweet had read, “The moment that crores of Kannadigas are awaiting is here. Sri @BSYBJP will take oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka tomorrow morning at 9.30 AM at Raj Bhavan. The movemtn to build Suvarna Karnataka has begun.”

Karnataka

The tweet by Karnataka BJP was posted at 8.31 PM, long before Governor Vala  made the official announcement. An angry Congress slammed the governor calling him a BJP puppet. Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, “Vajubhai Vala denigrates the Governor’s office,tramples upon Constitution,abuses the law & acts as a BJP puppet. He chooses to serve his Master’s in BJP rather then serve the Constitution. As @BJPKarnataka informed in advance, orders come from BJP HQ then the sanctity of office .”

Moments later the Congress mounted an extraordinary legal recourse and contacted the Supreme Court at around midnight to hear their case against the governor’s invitation  to Yeddyurappa.

Calling it encounter of democracy, Surjewala tweeted, “PM & BJP President have sanctioned ‘encounter of the Constitution’ at the hands of Governor of Karnataka today. Vajubhai Vala acts as a puppet serving his masters’ in BJP rather then serving the Constitution.

“BJP has launched ‘Operation Kamal’ from Karnataka Raj Bhavan by trashing our sacrosanct Constitution & murdering democracy. Tomorrow, an illegitimate & immoral Govt will take oath, unsanctioned by law & in violation of the Constitutional norms/precedents.”

In the just-concluded Karnataka assembly elections, the BJP had won 104 seats, eight short of the majority, while the Congress and the JDS won 78 and 38 respectively. Both the JDS and the Congress have now announced to form the government together as they have six more than the required numbers.

Governor Vala’s generosity to allow Yeddyurappa 15 days to prove majority is a licence to purchase MLAs from the Congress and the JDS in order to ensure the majority. JDS Chief HD Kumaraswamy had alleged on Wednesday that the BJP was wooing their MLAs with Rs 100 crore each.

 

Updates:

  • The three-judge bench of Supreme Court refuses to stay swearing-in ceremony of BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa as Karnataka Chief Minister, matter to be next heard at 10:30 am tomorrow (Friday) (ANI)
  • Supreme Court order: 
  • Court orally remarks it wont restrain swearing-in but will issue notice and hear the other side and decide. No order passed yet. (Only oral remark by Justice AK Sikri).
  • Rohatgi arguing on Governor’s immunity. “It happened in Nabam Rabia’s case”, says Rohatgi referring to how SC had issued notice to Governor and then recalled it.
  • “If Article 356 power cannot be injuncted then Article 361 power cannot be injuncted”, Mukul Rohatgi. “And what is so great about it. Every other day, Your Lordships set aside Governor’s actions”, says Rohatgi and refers to Uttarakhand case.
  • Abhishek Manu Singhvi raises question marks over the appearance of Mukul Rohatgi. “And he wants swearing-in tomorrow”, Singhvi. “I want dismissal of the petition”, says Rohatgi as Court room bursts into laughter. (Bar and Bench)
  • “You cannot deny that all these actions are subject to judicial review though he (Governor) might not be liable”, AK Sikri J. “I am not denying that”, AG KK Venugopal.
  • Why 15 days”, asks Justice SA Bobde. ” That is the Governor’s decision”, replies Venugopal.
  • Bench asks KK Venugopal the ground on which Yeddyurappa has claimed stake to form government. “Letter by Yeddyurappa on what basis he has claimed is not available to us right now”, AK Sikri J.
  • Venugopal says defection law will not apply before taking of oath. Bench does not agree. “That is preposterous”, says AK Sikri J.
  • Mukul Rohatgi intervenes: “I was woken up from sleep at midnight. This petition should never have been taken up at midnight. Will heavens fall if somebody is sworn in?”
  • As per the Sarkaria Commission Guidelines, “largest party or group of parties” should be first to be invited by Governor, submits @DrAMSinghvi (Bar and Bench)
  • Court can’t issue any injunction against the Governor : Mukul Rohatgi, who’s appearing for BS Yeddyurappa.
  • Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Congress & JD(S), Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta for Union govt & former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi for BJP, in hearing of the petition filed by Cong & JD(S) challenging Karnataka Governor’s decision (ANI)
  • Sr Advocate AM Singhvi along with his juniors reaching SC for the midnight hearing; AM Singhvi to represent Congress-JDS challenging the Governor’s decision to invite Yeddyurappa to form Govt in Karnataka (LiveLaw)

  • “Definitely, we have. You will see it,” said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on being asked if BJP has the number of MLAs to prove majority. He has arrived at the residence of BS Yeddyurappa (ANI)
  • BJP has 104 seats,how will they prove majority on floor, even if they get some independent MLAs?Only way out is to bring Cong & JD(S) MLAs with them,either by using muscle power or buying MLAs. We have filed a petition urging Guv to give us a chance:Javed, lawyer for JD(S) & Congress (ANI)

  • Three-judge bench of Justice AK Sikri, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Gobde to hear Congress & JD(S) petition challenging Karnataka Governor’s decision at 1:45 AM (ANI)
  • Irrespective of merits, SC finds sufficient urgency to list at 145 AM. Shows system works irrespective if merits in getting large wheels to move at v short notice wo regard to technicalities @DrAMSinghvi (LiveLaw)

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