Karnataka crisis: SC to decide on rebel MLAs’ plea today

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After hearing the matter on Tuesday, the Supreme Court will on Wednesday pass the order on the petition of rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs seeking a direction to the Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to accept their resignation and not proceed with the application for their disqualification. The verdict will be pronounced at 10.30 am on Wednesday.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Deepak Gupta heard the submissions made by the counsels of both the petitioners and the respondents.

Meanwhile, Speaker KR Ramesh also sought time till Wednesday to decide on the disqualification and resignation of the rebel MLAs.

Appearing on behalf of the rebel legislators, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi said that disqualification cannot be mixed with up with resignation.

“The Speaker is trying to make a decision on both the issues–resignation and disqualification–at the same time. The rule, My Lords, is straight. Disqualification is like a mini-trial and it is a matter of evidence,” he said.

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Rohatgi said that there was an attempt to scuttle their resignations. “The Speaker cannot hold the resignation for many days as the rule says that it has to be decided soon,” he contended.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is representing Speaker, said that four of the MLAs who had resigned did not even present themselves before the Speaker.

“The rules are clear. The member of the House has to personally appear before the Speaker,” he said when asked by the CJI if the resignations were not genuine.

Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for the Chief Minister, said: “11 people are hunting as a pack.”

The top court had on July 12 taken up the petitions of 10 dissident MLAs and directed the Speaker to maintain status quo on their resignation and disqualification till July 16.

Other five rebel MLAs had approached the court on July 13 contending they had resigned ‘voluntarily’ and that their resignation must be accepted by the Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.

The 13-month-old Congress-JD(S) government had slumped into crisis ever since 10 MLAs resigned from the membership of the state Assembly on July 6.

(With ANI inputs)

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