New Delhi: Hearing Karnataka rebel MLAs case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it could not say if the Speaker should decide on the resignations or the disqualification first. (Also read: ‘Cong MLAs Fought Like Tigers,’ Says DK Shivakumar)

It said, “We cannot fetter him.”  CJI Ranjan Gogoi said, “The question is if there is any constitutional obligation for him to decide resignation before disqualification or to club his decision on both”.

The apex court bench of the CJI and Justice Deepak Gupta is dealing with the plea of rebel MLAs who have sought that Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar should accept their resignations.

In their application before the bench, the MLAs on Monday sought an impleadment as parties to the pending plea on which it was ordered that the Speaker would not take any decision till Tuesday on the resignations and disqualifications.

On July 12, the apex court had asked the Speaker to maintain status quo. Abhishek Singhvi pleaded with the apex court to vacate the status quo order on MLAs’ resignation saying speaker will complete all the process by Wednesday.

What triggered the plea is a legislative loophole, say reports. Ministers can contest the by-polls and get re-elected in the current House if they resign. But if they are disqualified, they will be barred from contesting for a seat in the current Assembly.

Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the rebel MLAs, has sought for the Speaker’s decision within a timeframe.