New Delhi: The Supreme Court is to give its order today on the pleas of 15 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs against Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar for not accepting their resignations from the Assembly.
Hearing their pleas on Tuesday, the Supreme Court had said that the position and powers of the Speaker may need a re-look. The bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose reportedly said, “When the 10th Schedule (Anti-Defection law) was added (to the Constitution), very high status was given (to the Speaker). But with (what has happened in the) last 10-25 years, probably a re-looking is required.”
Since July 6, 13 Congress and three JD(S) MLAs have resigned since July 6, reducing the numbers of the coalition from 117 to 101. The BJP has 105 MLAs in the 224-member House where the halfway mark is 113 and has said recently that all its MLAs are together.
However, the numbers would drop only if the resignations are accepted or the MLAs are disqualified.
On July 11, the Supreme Court had asked the MLAs to appear before the Speaker and requested him to take a decision on their resignations before the end of the day. The CJI said that he had heard the arguments of both sides and “what is needed is balancing”.
Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Kumaraswamy, said what mattered was the motive of the MLAs and the Speaker had to take this into account. “Your lordships are not dealing with individual resignations. But here is a situation where they are hunting in a pack,” he said, referring to the MLAs travelling to Mumbai and staying put in a hotel since, refusing to meet senior party leaders.
He said the Constitution did not specify what should be decided first – disqualification or resignation.