New Delhi: In a major setback for the Congress-JD(S), the Supreme Court on Saturday rejected a petition filed against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA KG Bopaiah’s appointment as the pro-tem Speaker to conduct the crucial floor test in Karnataka.
Responding to the petition, the Judges asked Kapil Sibal if they are ready to postpone the floor test as the court will have to hear Bopaiah before issuing directions. The court emphasised that there can be no other agenda than oath taking and floor test. Sibal then said sorry for troubling and the hearing ended.
The court added that all TV channels can air the proceedings live while responding to the demand for video recording.
A three-judge bench, comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and SA Bobde and headed by Justice AK Sikri, heard the petition. The petition claimed that the appointment made by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R Vala was “unconstitutional” and requests the apex court to set it aside.
The eight-page long petition copy stated that the court should pass an appropriate order directing to conduct the floor test by segregating the MLAs supporting and opposing the motion in different lobbies of the assembly.
The petition also stated that despite the settled parliamentary convention and practice for appointment of a pro-tem speaker, a junior MLA with a dubious and controversial record of passing biased disqualification orders was appointed by the speaker.
Earlier on Friday, Vala appointed Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker ahead of floor test in the State Assembly.
Karnataka is set to witness heightened political activities today as a floor test will be conducted in the Karnataka Assembly in Bengaluru at 4 PM today to ascertain if Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa enjoyed majority support in the House. The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) on Friday said they were sure of Yeddyurappa losing the floor test while the BJP sounded confident of sailing through the test.
Meanwhile, both Congress in alliance with JD(S) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has claimed to have the simple majority in the house that is 111 for the 221-member assembly.
The BJP is the single-largest party in the state assembly with 104 MLAs, however, they are still short of the simple majority mark of 111 by seven MLAs whereas the Congress alliance claim support of 117 MLAs, including two Independent legislators.