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Sunday 19 January 2020

Supreme permission: Speaker, take your own sweet time

The Supreme Court directed today that the 15 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs 'ought not' take part in the proceedings of the Karnataka

New Delhi: The Supreme Court directed on Wednesday that the 15 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs “ought not” to be compelled to take part in the proceedings of the Karnataka Assembly, which is slated to decide the confidence motion moved by the HD Kumaraswamy-led State government on Thursday.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi further said Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar was free to decide on the resignations of the rebel legislators within such time-frame as deemed appropriate by him.

The court also said the Speaker’s decision be put before it.

The bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said the Speaker’s discretion in deciding the resignation issue of the 15 MLAs should not be fettered by the court’s directions or observations and he should be free to decide the issue.

The bench, while pronouncing the order, said it was necessary to maintain the constitutional balance in the matter.

The court said other issues raised in the matter would be decided at a later stage.

‘Supreme Court verdict moral victory for rebel MLAs’

Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme court order on the political crisis, asserting that it was a “moral victory” for the rebel MLAs, whose resignations have pushed the ruling Congress-JDS coalition to the brink of collapse.

Yeddyurappa underlined that the political parties cannot issue a whip to the 15 rebel lawmakers, who have resigned their Assembly membership, and they cannot be compelled to attend the House proceedings.

The apex court gave its verdict keeping all the facts about Karnataka in mind, he said.

Against this backdrop, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy will have to resign on Thursday when he will face the confidence vote in the Assembly, Yeddyurappa told reporters here.

“When there is no majority, he (chief minister) will automatically resign tomorrow,” he said.

The BJP president also emphasised that the Speaker has been directed to take a decision at the earliest and submit his order to the Supreme Court.

“I welcome the Supreme Court decision. It is a victory of the Constitution and democracy. It is a moral victory for rebel MLAs.

“It is only an interim order and in the future, the SC will decide the power of the Speaker. It will set a new trend in the parliamentary democracy,” Yeddyurappa said.

Will follow constitutional principles: Speaker

Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court decision putting the onus on him to decide on the resignations of rebel MLAs and said he would conduct himself responsibly in accordance with the principles of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court said the 15 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs of the State’s ruling coalition “ought not” to be compelled to take part in the proceedings of the Karnataka Assembly, which is slated to decide the confidence motion moved by the HD Kumaraswamy-led State government on Thursday.

“With utmost humility, I welcome and respect the Supreme Court decision,” Kumar said soon after the apex court pronounced its order on the issue of resignations of the lawmakers that have pushed the State into political turmoil.

“The SC has put an extra burden on me, I will conduct myself responsibly in accordance with constitutional principle,” he told reporters in Kolar, his home town.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also said the Speaker is free to decide on the resignations of the rebel legislators within the time-frame decided by him.

The court further said the Speaker’s decision be put before it.

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