Bengaluru/Mumbai: Karnataka’s rebel Congress- JD(S) welcomed Tuesday’s Supreme Court verdict, which said that they cannot be compelled to attend the July 18 trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly.
A bench of the apex court, headed by the Chief Justice of India bench today delivered its verdict on the plea of 10 dissident Congress-JD(S) MLAs also held that the Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar had the discretion to decide either the disqualification or resignation of the MLAs.
“We honour the Supreme Court’s verdict. We all are together. We stand by our decision. There is no question of going to the Assembly,” a rebel MLA said on behalf of the dissidents who have been camping in Mumbai.
Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy declined to comment when asked about Supreme Court’s verdict. He had earlier visited the Sri Sringeri Shankara Mutt in Shankarapuram and offered prayers.
Reacting to the verdict, Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar said: “I will take a decision that in no way will go contrary to the Constitution, the Court and the Lokpal.
BJP leader and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa also welcomed the top court order stating that it was a “moral victory” for the rebel MLAs.
“Karnataka CM has lost his mandate when there is no majority he must resign tomorrow. I welcome SC’s decision, it’s the victory of the constitution and that of democracy, a moral victory for rebel MLAs,” Yeddyurappa said.
“It’s only an interim order, SC will decide powers of Speaker in future,” he added.
Fellow BJP leader Jagadish Shettar backed Yedyurappa and said Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy should resign.
“There is anarchy in the state because of HD Kumaraswamy. He should resign immediately after this verdict and not wait for the trust vote,” Shettar said.
GVL Narasimha Rao, BJP also said: ” SC in its final judgement will have to create timelines for Speakers to decide a matter be it Assembly or Parliament. If required we’ll look at the need for amending the act so that Speakers can’t go by their own whims and fancies.”
In its verdict, a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said the dissident MLAs are not compelled to participate in the trust vote in the Assembly tomorrow.
The Supreme Court had earlier taken up the petitions of 10 dissident MLAs and directed the Speaker to maintain the status quo on their resignation and disqualification till July 16.
The plea was filed by Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkhiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, B C Patil, S T Somashekar, Arbail Sivaram Hebbar and Mahesh Kumathalli from Congress and K Gopalaiah, H D Vishwanath and Narayan Gowda from JD(S).
The five rebel MLAs – K Sudhakar, Roshan Baig, MTB Nagaraj, Muniratna and Anand Singh – had approached the Court on Saturday 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.