Karnataka Crisis: Can’t force MLAs to attend trust vote; speaker free to decide on resignations anytime, Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed Ramesh Kumar, the speaker of Karnataka assembly to decide on resignation of rebel MLAs with full liberty and with “appropriate time frame”.

The SC also said that it can’t force the rebel MLAs to attend the trust vote to be held in the assembly on Thursday.

It is upto the choice of MLAs to attend the house, the court further said.

“We have to maintain constitutional balance” the court mentioned.

The three-judge bench that pronounced the judgement was headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi and comprised of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose.

The court was hearing the petitions filed by the 10 rebel MLAs, counter-petition by the Speaker and another petition filed by 5 rebel MLAs alleging coercion on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, after hearing the rebel MLAs, the speaker and Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, the court has fixed Wednesday to pronounce its judgement.

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Earlier on July 11, hearing the petition of 10 rebel MLAs, the Supreme Court directed the speaker to take a decision by the end of the day.

The speaker later asked for time from the court to satisfy himself, if the resignations were voluntary or forced.

Reacting to the judgement, Speaker Ramesh Kumar welcomed the decision and said, “I will take a decision that in no way will go contrary to the Constitution, the Court and the Lokpal.”

“Will ensure no rule is broken” he added.

While, former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa said, “Kumaraswamy has lost his majority and he will lose the trust vote tomorrow. He must resign.”

Last week, CM Kumaraswamy, surprising the opposition in the state, declared that he would seek a trust vote on the floor of the house.

Earlier this month, the resignation of 15 rebel MLAs plunged the Congress – JD(S) coalition government into crisis, followed by the political drama spread across Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi.

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