The Supreme Court in order on Wednesday said that the Karnataka Speaker could not be forced to take a decision within a time frame, reported news agency ANI. The bench comprising CJI Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose ruled that the Speaker could take a decision on the resignations of the rebel MLAs within an appropriate time frame.
The top court also said that Karnataka MLAs were not ‘compelled to participate in the trust vote tomorrow.’ This means that the rebel MLAs need not be present in the state assembly on Thursday to take part in the trust vote. They will also not face any threats of disqualification now.
Earlier, the court had directed rebel MLAs to meet the Speaker, Ramesh Kumar, at 6 pm on 11 July. The top court had also requested Kumar to take a decision on their resignations during the remaining course of the day. But Kumar had refused to comply with the Supreme Court order.
While the lawyer for the rebel MLAs, Mukul Rohatgi, had argued that the Speaker’s action amounted to contempt of court, the lawyer representing Kumar, AM Singhvi, said that the resignations by MLAs were a ploy to avoid disqualifications.
Rohatgi, according to ANI, told reporters after the verdict, “15 MLAs will not be compelled to attend the House tomorrow. All 15 MLAs are given the liberty that may or may not go to the House tomorrow.”
Mukul Rohatgi, representing Karnataka rebel MLAs in SC: In view of Trust Vote kept for tomorrow, SC has said two important things- 15 MLAs will not be compelled to attend the House tomorrow. All 15 MLAs are given the liberty that may or may not go to the House tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/iPmIysJ1KL
— ANI (@ANI) July 17, 2019
Rajeev Dhavan who was representing Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, asked the court to refrain from exceeding its jurisdiction by issuing orders to Speaker Kumar.
The BJP had emerged as the single-largest party with 105 MLAs in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly during the last year’s elections. However, the Congress and the JDS had come together to form the government with 117 MLAs.
More to follow.