Karnataka Speaker moves SC against order on rebel MLAs

In another twist to Karnataka’s political crisis, the Speaker moved the Supreme Court seeking vacation of its order directing him to decide on the resignations of 10 rebel MLAs on Thursday.

The court earlier asked the rebel MLAs to appear before the Speaker.

The Speaker contended that such a direction cannot be issued by the top court and sought an urgent hearing on his application.

The Speaker said his constitutional duties and Assembly rules mandated him to verify whether the original reason behind the resignations tendered by the MLAs and whether these were voluntary or coerced.

Therefore, to determine this, an inquiry cannot be completed within the stipulated time-frame set by the top court in its order, he argued.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi refused urgent hearing on the matter but allowed the Speaker’s application to be filed and indicated that the matter will be taken up for hearing along with the petition of 10 rebel MLAs.

Speaker’s counsel senior advocate A.M. Singhvi and Devadatt Kamat contended before the court that the Speaker was constitutionally bound to first take up the disqualification proceedings first.

The bench led by the Chief Justice replied it had already passed the order in the morning. “It is for the Speaker to decide on the nature of course of action… We will hear you tomorrow.”