Supreme Court’s “balanced judgement” imbalances Congress-JDS coalition government

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court passed an interim order in relation to the Karnataka rebel MLAs case.

The top court gave a free hand to the Karnataka legislative assembly Speaker,  KR Ramesh Kumar to decide on the resignations without any time restrictions. The SC observed, “The discretion of the Speaker should not be fettered by any direction from the court. The Speaker can decide on the resignations as and when he feels appropriate.”

The Supreme Court order also instructed that the 15 rebel MLAs “ought not” to be compelled to take part in the proceedings of the Karnataka Assembly. Which simply means that whips can’t force the dissident lawmakers to participate in the trust vote on Thursday.

The bench comprised of  justices Deepak Gupta, Aniruddha Bose and CJI Ranjan Gogoi said it was necessary to maintain the constitutional balance in the matter.

Opinion – What happens to HD Kumaraswamy’s Government now?

Without the support of rebel lawmakers, the HD Kumaraswamy government have only 100 MLAs on its side while the BJP have 105 members in the House.

Adding support of the two Independent MLAs for BS Yeddyurappa, BJP’ tally jumps to 107.

The only way the Congress-JD(S) coalition government save themselves in the trust vote was if BJP lawmakers cross vote or abstain from voting or if Kumaraswamy convinces 7 of the 15 rebel MLAs to back him.

Arguments – 

On Tuesday, during the Supreme Court hearing, the court heard interesting arguments from Mukul Rohatgi who represented the rebel MLAs, Rajeev Dhavan who appeared for the Karnataka Chief Minister and AM Singhvi appeared for the Speaker.

Singhvi contended that the court had no jurisdiction to ask the Speaker to act in a particular manner or to decide the issue of resignation in a time-bound manner. Adding that the Speaker has to decide on both issues, resignations and disqualifications.

Rebel MLAs lawyer, Rohatgi requested the bench to maintain status quo on the issue of resignation and disqualification of the MLAs. He also urged the court to exempt the 15 rebel MLAs from appearing on the basis of the ruling coalition’s whip.

Source : Various