After the Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala had invited BS Yeddyurappa to form the government and prove majority on the floor of the house within 15 days, the Congress-JDS alliance, after stashing away their MLAs safely in a resort, moved to the Supreme Court to stay the swearing-in ceremony. In a rather unique kind of politico-judicial drama, the Supreme Court, after hearing the case for almost 4 hours, refused to stay Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in ceremony scheduled to take place at 9 am today.
#SupremeCourt has refused to stay swearing-in ceremony of #BharatiyaJanataParty‘s #BSYeddyurappa as the #Karnataka Chief Minister after #Congress filed a last-minute petition in the apex court challenging the same
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) May 17, 2018
According to reports, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, on behalf of the Congress-JDS alliance sought an urgent hearing of the matter after filing the petition against Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in ceremony. The SC reportedly agreed to hear the case at 1.45 am. CJI Deepak Mishra assigned a bench comprising three judges namely Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan to hear the matter.
At the hearing advocate, Mukul Rohatgi represented the BJP while ASG Tushar Mehta represented the central government in the matter. The Congress-JDS alliance had reportedly termed the Governor’s decision as ‘unconstitutional’.
Numbers cannot be proven in Supreme Court. Not even Raj Bhavan. Numbers have to be proven on the floor of the house & for that floor test has to happen. Heavens won’t fall if 15 days time given. It is the Governor’s discretion.7 days if not 15 but why argue at 4 am: Mukul Rohatgi
— GAURAV C SAWANT (@gauravcsawant) May 16, 2018
Mukul Rohatgi, objecting to the petition had reportedly added that the Governor’s job is to invite oath and the President and Governor are not answerable to any court. He also reportedly stated that the court should not stop a constitutional functionary in functioning his official duties.
After hearing the matter for several hours, the three-judge bench reportedly refused to stay the oath taking ceremony at 9 am. The bench has reportedly stated that the Governor’s decision cannot be overruled as it is a constitutional authority. The bench, however, has made it clear that the government formation will be subjected to the final outcome of the case.
The bench asked for the letter that the BJP sent to the Governor claiming to form the government in Karnataka. As per the latest reports, the SC bench has now scheduled the further hearing of the matter at 10.30 am on Friday.
It is notable here that the SC had similarly held an urgent late-night hearing in 2015 for a petition to stop the hanging of terrorist Yakub Menon.