New Delhi: Bringing another twist to the political drama in Karnataka, Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar asked Supreme Court to vacate its July 11 order directing him to decide on the resignations of 10 rebel MLAs by midnight.
The Court, while refusing the Speaker’s request for urgent hearing, allowed his application to be filed, indicating it would be heard on July 12 along with the rebel MLAs’ petition.
The SC on July 11 had asked the 10 rebel MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka to submit their resignation to the Speaker in person by 6pm today. The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had directed the Speaker to decide on the resignation by midnight.
Kumar protested, saying as per Assembly rules, he has to verify whether the resignations of the 10 MLAs were voluntary or coerced. “Such an inquiry cannot be completed forthwith or latest by 12 midnight.”
Citing the time constraint as his reason, Kumar, through his counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “he is seized of the disqualification proceedings initiated against the rebel MLAs which takes time and makes it difficult to decide immediately the voluntary nature of resignations that requires a proper inquiry.”
Locking horns with the Supreme Court, Kumar said, “Nobody has authority to direct me, not even supreme Court.”
The MLAs who have filed the petition are Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, BC Patil, ST Somashekhar, Arbail Shivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, K Gopalaiah, AH Vishwanath and Narayana Gowda. The apex court also directed the Karnataka DGP to provide protection to the 10 MLAs, while they travel from Bengaluru airport to the Assembly after their arrival from Mumbai today.
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