SC reserves order in rebel MLAs case

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Supreme Court has reserved its order on the plea of Karnataka rebel MLAs. The Apex Court will now pronounce the judgement tomorrow morning.

During the proceedings, Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar urged the Supreme Court to modify its earlier order directing him to maintain status quo in the ongoing political crisis in the state while the rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs accused him of acting in a partisan manner by not deciding on their resignations.

Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the speaker, told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that he will decide on both disqualification and resignation of the rebel MLAs by tomorrow but the court should modify its earlier order asking him to maintain status quo.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the rebel MLAs, told the apex court that the speaker can be directed to decide on the resignation of these MLAs by today itself and he can later take a call on the disqualification proceedings.

Rohatgi argued that the speaker cannot keep the resignation of these MLAs pending and by doing so he is acting in a partisan manner.

Countering his submissions, Singhvi told the bench, which also had Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, that nobody is saying the Speakers are not fallible but they cannot be asked to decide the matter in a time-bound manner.

The rebel MLAs told the court that the Speaker kept their resignation pending just to disqualify them and there was nothing wrong in resigning to escape disqualification.

The rebel MLAs told the court that the state government has been reduced to a minority and the Speaker by not accepting their resignations has attempted coercing them to vote for the government in the trust vote.

The apex court, which was dealing with the plea of 10 rebel MLAs, will now be hearing five more lawmakers who have sought identical relief that Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar accept their resignations as well.

The five MLAs, Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraj, Munirathna and Roshan Baig, mentioned their application before a bench of Chief Justice Gogoi and Justice Gupta yesterday seeking impleadment as parties to the pending plea on which it was ordered that the speaker would not take any decision till Tuesday on the resignations and disqualifications.

The top court had on Friday restrained the Speaker from taking any decision till July 16 on the resignation and disqualification of the rebel MLAs.

The court had said an incidental question that would arise in the matter is the kind and extent of the directions that should be issued by a constitutional court to another constitutional functionary, which in the present case happens to be the Speaker of the Assembly. (AIR NEWS)

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