Karnataka MLAs resignation: Live Updates from the Supreme Court

Karnataka MLAs resignation: Live Updates from the Supreme Court

Bar & Bench

The hearing in the Supreme Court on the resignation of10 Congress and JD(S) Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) from Karnataka is currently underway.

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.

The Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose will hear the application filed by the Karnataka Assembly Speaker along with the petition filed by the rebel MLAs today.

Follow our Twitter thread for a blow-by-blow account of the proceedings.

Live updates of the hearing follow:

Mukul Rohatgi making submissions for rebel MLAs.

  • Speaker is riding on two horses. He says Supreme Court is nobody to give me direction, submits Rohatgi. He also says he has to study the resignations.
  • The issue is that matter of resignations has nothing to do with Speaker’s powers inside the house, submits Rohatgi.
  • Speaker has not decided yet on the resignations if MLAs, submits Mukul Rohatgi.
  • His object is to keep resignations pending and then disqualify them so that resignations become infructuous, argues Rohatgi.
  • If he can’t decide on resignations, then it is a brazen case of contempt, submits Rohatgi.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi now making submissions on behalf of Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker.

  • By way of 1974 Amendment, it has been made clear that resignations cannot be merely accepted and inquiry has to be conducted to ascertain if resignations are genuine, submits Singhvi.
  • Their intent in giving resignation is to avoid disqualification, says Singhvi.
  • “Is it your submission that the Supreme Court cannot exercise its jurisdiction?”, CJI Gogoi asks Singhvi.” No”, says Singhvi.
  • “Is it your case that you are constitutionally bound to decide on disqualification before resignations?”, CJI Gogoi asks Dr. Singhvi. “I am extremely grateful, yes”, Singhvi.
  • Two of the MLAs resigned after disqualification proceedings commenced. Eight of them sent resignations before disqualification proceedings but did not appear in person with resignation letter, submits Singhvi.
  • Tomorrow if he forms government, he could invite these ten to be ministers, says Singhvi.
  • Singhvi referring to a judgment which states that court cannot direct Speaker to decide on disqualification proceedings in a particular manner and within a time frame.

Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan appearing for Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy.

  • Their claim for urgency is based on the argument that the Government in Karnataka is in the minority, submits Rajeev Dhavan.
  • On what basis is Supreme Court being asked to interfere? That this government is in minority, there is maladministration. So they say please assist us since this govt has failed. Not a word about the Speaker’s actions, argues Rajeev Dhavan.
  • What is the responsibilty of Speaker while acting on resignations? He has to make inquiry to ascertain that resignation is voluntary and genuine, submits Dhavan.
  • Dhavan admits that it is a proceeding outside the House under the Tenth Schedule.
  • Speaker has said that he will decide on the resignations at the earliest. I know of only one case – Haryana Assembly case – wherein HC gave Speaker four months to decide, Rajeev Dhavan submits.
  • In none of the matters has anybody come under Art 32. They say disqualification is different from resignation, I agree and they don’t want to get disqualified, Rajeev Dhavan argues.

Rohatgi now making submissions.

  • Arguments progressing on the judgment of Kihoto Hollohan.
  • Mukul Rohatgi says resignation of 8 MLAs was submitted before disqualification proceedings began.

Supreme Court dictating order now.

  • Questions of substantial importance involving Articles 190, 361 arise in this case, SC
  • One important question is whether Constitutional court can issue direction to Speaker to decide on resignations.
  • Having regard to the issues we are of the view that matter needs to be considered.
  • Supreme Court orders status quo on resignations by rebel MLAs and disqualification proceedings against them till larger Constitutional issues are decided by Supreme Court.

[Read Order]

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