Wednesday, Feb 01, 2023

Live | Supreme Court Verdict on Rebel Karnataka MLAs Tomorrow

The Supreme Court will examine the "weighty" constitutional issues in the resignation and disqualification of 15 rebel MLAs.

Live | Supreme Court Verdict on Rebel Karnataka MLAs Tomorrow
Rebel Karnataka Congress MLAs. (File photo: PTI)
Live | Supreme Court Verdict on Rebel Karnataka MLAs Tomorrow

The Supreme Court is currently hearing the petition filed by 15 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs against Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar for deliberately delaying the acceptance of their resignations.

The court will examine the "weighty" constitutional issues in the resignation and disqualification of 15 rebel MLAs.

Here are the live updates:

3:35PM: Supreme Court reserves order on the plea of Karnataka rebel MLAs. Top court to pronounce order at 10.30 AM Wednesday.

3:19 PM: This government has lost the majority and the Speaker is only trying to prop up a minority government.  

3:16PMConstitutional rules mandate Speaker to decide immediately provided it is genuine and voluntary. Speaker has no mandate under Constitution to go into my mind to find out why I have resigned, Mukul Rohtagi, representing rebel MLAs, says.

3:06 PM: When the resignation process is not in order, the court cannot direct the Speaker to decide on it by 6 PM, Karnataka CM to SC.

2:49PM: This is not Speaker vs Court; this is between CM and somebody who wants to become CM by bringing down the government, Dhavan tells the court. He adds the court shouldn't have entertained the petition.

2:47PM: Dr Rajeev Dhawan, a senior lawyer appearing for Karnataka Chief Minister, says, "It is the motive which is important. 11 people are hunting in a pack. They flew to Mumbai when they could have met the Speaker."

2:43PM: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy says rebel MLAs hunting in pack to destabilise the government and that they went to the hotel together.

2:41PM: Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan for Kumaraswamy says the Speaker can't be compelled to decide the issue in a time-bound manner.

2: 39PM: No direction to Karnataka Speaker by Supreme Court in midnight hearing when floor test was ordered and B S Yeddyurappa invited to form the government, says Singhvi.

1:29PM: Karnataka Assembly speaker's counsel AM Singhvi says: "All cases of presentation of resignation only happened on July 11. Four MLAs, who moved a petition to resign, haven't even presented themselves before the Speaker.'  CJI Gogoi asks, "If the letters were submitted on July 6, what did the Speaker do?"

12:48PM: Please modify earlier order, I will decide both disqualification and resignation by tomorrow: Speaker's counsel to SC

12:35PM: Karnataka Assembly speaker's counsel A M Singhvi tells SC he cannot be asked to decide on resignation of MLAs in time-bound manner.

12:3PM: Meanwhile, Karnataka Deputy CM G Parameshwara along with Congress MLAs leaves from Taj Yeshwantpur

12:32PM: What stops the Speaker from deciding if the resignations are voluntary after they have appeared before him on July 11? CJI asks Singhvi  

12:23PM: CJI Gogoi asks about Speaker being unavailable for an appointment and eventually MLAs having to come to court. Singhvi says that it is factually wrong and Speaker has filed an affidavit to that effect that an appointment was not sought.

12:22PM: 11 of the 15 MLAs handed over resignations personally to Speaker only on July 11. Four of the MLAs are yet to do so, claims Singhvi

12:20PM: AM Singhvi commences submissions on behalf of Karnataka Speaker, says the act of disqualification is the act of defiance of whip, reports Bar&Bench.

12:10PM: Karnataka Speaker can be directed to decide resignation by 2 PM and let him take call on disqualification later: say rebel Cong-JD(S) MLAs

12:04PM: Speaker kept resignation pending just to disqualify us; nothing wrong in resigning to escape disqualification, say rebels

12:02PM: Congress-JD(S) govt reduced to minority; speaker, by not accepting resignation, trying to coerce us to vote for govt in trust vote, say rebels

11:53 AMSo what is the order you are seeking? CJI Ranjan Gogoi asks. "The order which Your Lordships passed on the first day, asking Speaker to decide within a time frame," replies Rohtagi.

11:45 AM In this case, the Speaker says the reason for resignation is to avoid disqualification. That does not mean it is involuntary. Hence, he cannot keep it pending, argues Mukul Rohatgi.

11:36 AMThe fallacy of their argument is that it is based on my motive to resign which is completely irrelevant, says Rohatgi.

11:32 AMThese people are telling the Supreme Court that they have resigned, crying before TV that they have resigned and yet this is allowed to continue, this is ridiculous, Rohatgi argues.

11:29 AM: Disqualification is like mini-trial under Constitution's 10th Schedule; resignation different, its acceptance based on 1 criterion -- voluntary or not, says Rohtagi. 

11:28 AM Art.icle 190 says if the resignation is by hand and there is no other material, the Speaker has to take a decision as quickly as possible. He cannot keep it pending, says Rohatgi.

11:26 AM: Mukul Rohtagi explains the differences in consequences of resignation and disqualification.

"One important aspect being that on resignation, the MLA can join the other party, contest by-elections and become a minister," he said.

11:18 AM: There is a vote of confidence in the assembly and rebel MLAs may be forced to follow whip despite resigning, says Rohatgi, adding this (disqualification proceedings) is nothing but an attempt to stutter the resignations.

11:15 AMWhat is the ground for disqualification proceedings? asks CJI Ranjan Gogoi. "That I am not acting in consonance with the Party," Bar&Bench quotes Rohatgi as saying.

11:14 AM:  Rohtagi submits that it is his right to do what he wants to do. The Speaker is infringing that right of mine, he says.

11:10 AM: Mukul Rohatgi, representing rebel MLAs, says, " If I don't want to be an MLA. Nobody can force me. My resignation must be accepted."

11:00 AM: Former Attorney General and senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, representing the rebel MLAs, says, "All ten petitioners (MLAs) resigned on July 10. The Speaker can take a decision if he wants, as there are two distinct decisions of accepting resignation and disqualification."


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