The Supreme Court Tuesday reserved its order on pleas moved by dissident Karnataka MLAs against Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar till July 17. The verdict will be pronounced at 10.30 am.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was hearing a clutch of petitions filed by 10 MLAs of the Congress and JDS coalition government against the Speaker for not accepting their resignations. Five other legislators had also followed suit and filed pleas in the Court. Follow Karnataka Crisis LIVE UPDATES HERE
The bench concluded the hearings of the rebel MLAs, the Speaker and Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. Representing the rebel MLAs, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi asked the bench to continue with its interim order directing the Speaker to maintain status quo on the issue of resignations and disqualification of the MLAs.
“The Karnataka government has lost majority and the Speaker is trying to prop it. The resignation has to be accepted, there is no other way to deal with it. It is my fundamental right to do whatever I want to do and cannot be bound due to non-acceptance of resignation by speaker,” Rohatgi told the apex court.
Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy’s counsel urged the court to exempt 15 legislators from appearing in the house on the basis of the whip of the coalition government.
Saying that the court shouldn’t have entertained the petition of MLAs, the state government’s counsel said, “SC doesn’t have jurisdiction to pass interim orders asking the Speaker to maintain status quo on MLAs resignation, disqualification. When the resignation process is not in order, the court cannot direct Speaker to decide on it by 6 PM. This is not Speaker vs Court, this is between a CM and somebody who wants to become CM by bringing down the current government.” The counsel further added that the rebel MLAs are hunting in a pack to destabilise the state government.
Speaker to decide on resignations by tomorrow
As Rohatgi submitted before the bench that the Speaker can be directed to decide on the resignation of the MLAs by 2 PM, K R Ramesh Kumar urged the Court to modify its earlier order directing him to maintain status quo. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the Speaker, told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that he would decide on both disqualification and resignation of the rebel MLAs by Wednesday. “How can the speaker be directed to decide in a particular manner?” Singhvi asked the court. “Such orders are not passed even to a trial court,” he said.
Rohatgi told the court that the 10 MLAs resigned on July 6 and disqualification proceedings against two lawmakers were pending. “When was the disqualification proceedings filed against rest eight MLAs,” the top court asked, to which Rohatgi responded that disqualification proceedings started against them on July 10.
It is to be noted that the top court had on Friday restrained the Speaker from taking any decision till July 16 on the resignation and disqualification of the rebel MLAs.