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Karnataka political crisis: SC grants speaker time till Tuesday | India News

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a status quo till Tuesday on Karnataka’s ten rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs, which means their resignation or disqualification proceedings will remain in limbo.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi posted the matter pertaining to the Karnataka political crisis for further hearing on July 16.
The bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, specifically mentioned in the order that Karnataka assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar would neither decide the issue of resignation nor that of the disqualification of the rebel MLAs to enable the court to decide the larger issues raised during the hearing of the matter.
The bench noted in its order that the issue of maintainability of the rebel MLAs’ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution was raised by the speaker and Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.
Further, the bench noted that senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the rebel MLAs, had countered the speaker’s submission that the disqualification plea of the ruling coalition in the southern state had to be decided before taking up the issue of resignation of the lawmakers.
The bench said taking all these aspects and the incomplete facts before it into consideration, there was a need for further hearing.
“In view of the weighty issue that have arisen, we are of the view that the matter be considered by us on Tuesday. We are of the view that the status quo as of today with regard to the prevailing situation be maintained. Neither the issue of resignation nor that of disqualification be decided till Tuesday,” the bench said.
During the hearing, the counsel for the rebel MLAs, Mukul Rohatgi, submitted to the court that the speaker is answerable to this court, except under certain circumstances. He may not respond under certain sections and provisions, he is entitled exemption.
Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi countered the argument, saying that these MLAs’ intention in giving resignation is something different, and it is to avoid disqualification. He also said that the speaker was not served the copy of the petition.
Karnataka crisis: Live updates
Dr Rajeev Dhavan, arguing for Karnataka chief minister, objected to the submissions of the rebel MLAs that the speaker has acted in a mala-fide manner.
Dhavan argued that MLAs in plea have leveled corruption allegations and order was passed without hearing me. “Their plea should not have been entertained,” he told SC.
Dhavan added that it is the responsibility of the speaker to satisfy himself that resignations were voluntary.
On Thursday, Karnataka assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar had moved the apex Court against its order asking him to take a decision on the resignation of ten rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs during the course of the day.
Earlier in the day, the apex court had asked the speaker to decide “forthwith” about the resignations of ten rebel MLAs, allowing them to meet him at 6 pm.
To which the speaker responded by ruling out any immediate decision on the resignation of rebel MLAs, saying he cannot be expected to work at “lightning speed”.
The 10 MLAs, who were flown in by two special flights to Bengaluru from Mumbai, took a luxury bus from the HAL airport in the heart of the city to the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat, amid tight security. Sources said the rebel MLAs will be returning to Mumbai where they were holed up in a luxury hotel for the past few days since the crisis erupted last Saturday.
In all, 16 MLAs (13 from Congress and three from JD-S) have quit pushing the coalition government to the brink of collapse. Two independent MLAs have also withdrawn support to the 13-month-old coalition government.



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