The apex court’s observations were undoubtedly severe. The three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice B.N. Kirpal, Justice Y.K. Sabharwal and Justice Arijit Pasayat held Krishna prima facie guilty for contempt of court for deliberate non-compliance of its orders. Coming down heavily on the Karnataka government, the bench said that if the elected government cannot comply with the court’s order then it should not continue in office. The bench also expressed its strong displeasure stating that man-made situations were being used to flout court orders and that political mileage was being derived out of the issue. The court made it clear that citing public sentiment and law and order was no excuse for defying its orders.
According to some legal experts, the Karnataka government erred in not going back to the court and pleading for modifications in its order. Instead, Krishna went on a padayatra to whip up public support against the order. Says constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap: "The court gave orders and it is quite possible that there were difficulties in implementing them. Ideally, Karnataka should have gone back to the court and sought modifications. Taking the plea that there would be a law and order problem, in its stead, was not proper. You can challenge a judgement but you cannot disregard it. Taking the matter to the streets was wrong."