Breaking: Supreme Court orders status quo in Karnataka MLAs resignation

Breaking: Supreme Court orders status quo in Karnataka MLAs resignation

Murali Krishnan

The Supreme Court today ordered that status quo be maintained by the Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly with respect to the resignations by rebel MLAs and the disqualification proceedings against them.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said that the case involves issues of substantial importance involving Articles 164,  190 and 361 of the Constitution.

“Apart from the question of maintainability of the writ petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, questions of substantial importance involving the provisions of Articles 164, 190, 361B and the provisions of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India arise for consideration in this case.”

The Court also stated that it needs to decide the issue of whether the Speaker is obligated to decide disqualification proceedings before accepting resignations of MLAs.

“That apart…..the question as to whether in a situation where resignations by MLAs as well as disqualification proceedings are pending against the same MLAs, the Speaker is obligated under the Constitution to decide the disqualification issue in the first instance.”

It, therefore, posted the matter for further hearing on July 16, Tuesday while ordering status quo.

“Having regard to the weighty issues that have arisen and the incomplete state of facts, as indicated above, we are of the view that the matter should be considered by the Court further on 16th July, 2019.

In the meantime, the status quo as on today, with regard to the ten petitioners, be maintained, namely, that
neither the issue of resignation nor the issue of disqualification will be decided by the Hon’ble Speaker.”

Today in Court, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for the rebel Karnataka MLAs. Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi represented Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly KR Ramesh Kumar, while Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan made submissions on behalf of Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.

Read an account of the hearing in the Supreme Court as it happened:

Yesterday, the Court had directed the Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly KR Ramesh Kumar to decide on the resignations tendered by the rebel MLAs. The MLAs were allowed to appear before the Speaker at 6 pm to tender their resignations. The Speaker was required to decided on the issue yesterday.

He had contended before the Supreme Court that he could take a call on the resignation only after an enquiry in terms of the proviso to Article 190(1)(b) of the Constitution, As per the Statement of Objects and Reasons to the Constitution 33rd Amendment, 1974, the Speaker should not accept the resignation unless he is satisfied that the resignation is voluntary and genuine, the application states.

He had thus sought more time to take a decision on the resignation of the rebel MLAs.

[Read Order]

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