New Delhi: The Supreme Court today said that the Karnataka Speaker is free to decide on resignations of 15 rebel lawmakers of the ruling Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition in Karnataka within such time-frame as deemed appropriate by him. “Discretion of Karnataka Assembly Speaker in deciding resignation should not be fettered by direction or observations of court,” the top court said amid the ongoing Karnataka crisis.
As the Karnataka political crisis played out in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that rebel lawmakers were “hunting in pack” to destabilize his government. The rebels argued that their resignations must be accepted by the Speaker, that they could not be “forced to attend the assembly”. The resignations, if accepted, will leave the government in a minority.
The Speaker has requested the court to end status quo on any action against the lawmakers, asserting that he would decide on their resignation or disqualification by today.
Here are the LIVE Updates on Karnataka Crisis:
Mukul Rohatgi, senior advocate representing Karnataka rebel lawmakers in Supreme Court, says: “The Court has said that the matter will be fully thrashed out at a later date.”
Kumaraswamy must resign: BS Yeddyurappa
BJP President BS Yeddyurappa says Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy must resign tomorrow. “He has lost his mandate. Certainly, the government will not last because they do not have the numbers.”
“I welcome the Supreme Court’s decision, it is a victory of the Constitution and democracy… It is a moral victory for the rebel lawmakers. It was only an interim order. In the future, the court will decide the power of the Speaker which will set a new trend in the parliamentary democracy.”
“I have respect for the Speaker. According to Supreme Court’s direction, he will act… Let us wait and see,” he says.
BJP leader Jagadish Shettar says: “There is anarchy in the state because of HD Kumaraswamy, he should resign immediately after this verdict and not wait for the trust vote.”
“I hold the judiciary in high esteem. The court has increased my responsibilities,” he says.
Supreme Court verdict on Karnataka Crisis
The Supreme Court says that the discretion of Karnataka Assembly Speaker in deciding resignation should not be fettered by direction or observations of court.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has directed that the Speaker’s decision on resignation of rebel lawmakers be placed before it.
The Speaker should be allowed to pass appropriate orders within parameters of Article 190 of the Constitution and relevant the Rules, the top court says.
The Karnataka Speaker cannot be forced to take a decision within a time frame, the top court says.
It says the rebel lawmakers should decide whether to attend the Assembly or not. “They ought not to be compelled to participate in the Trust motion on July 18.”
We have to maintain constitutional balance, the court says.
If the resignations are accepted, the coalition’s 118 members will come down to 100 and the majority mark will drop from 113 to 105. The BJP has 105 members and the support of the two Independents, which would take its tally to 107.
Sixteen legislators of the JDS-Congress coalition and two independent lawmakers have resigned over the past two weeks.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa says: “We are waiting for Supreme Court’s decision, the MLAs who have resigned will not be affected. Tomorrow the chief minister is going to move the confidence motion, he will lose the mandate, let us see what will happen.”