Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Home Law Karnataka speaker is delaying acceptance of resignations because he wants to keep a minority...

Karnataka speaker is delaying acceptance of resignations because he wants to keep a minority government in power: Mukul Rohatgi in SC

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, arguing on behalf of the 10 MLAs, stated that this was a government which has lost majority and the Speaker only wants to prop up a government which is in minority.

The Supreme Court hearing the petition of the rebel Congress-JDS MLAs in Karnataka decided to pronounce its orders at 10.30 PM on Wednesday, July 17.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi along with Justice Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose was hearing a petition of 15 Congress-JDS rebel MLAs against the Speaker’s decision to not accept their resignation.

On Friday, the court had ordered the speaker to maintain the status quo with regard to resignation and disqualification of 10 rebel MLAs. The top court on Thursday had directed the Karnataka Speaker to take a decision on the resignations submitted by the disgruntled Congress-JD(S) MLAs.

However, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar had told the court that he would need time to examine the resignation letters of the dissidents and determine whether they were coerced or the resignations were voluntary.

Today, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the rebel MLAs of the Congress-JDS coalition said five more legislators have given resignation to the speaker, but the speaker is not accepting it. “Incompetent proceedings are inappropriate,” said Rohatgi.

The five legislators – Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraj, Munirathna and Roshan Baig filed a petition before a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta on Monday. The apex court heard the petition of these five more lawmakers who sought a similar relief like the ten other rebel MLAs.

Mukul Rohatgi added that all the ten petitioners had given their resignations on July 10, and notice for disqualification proceedings was issued only against two of them as on that date.

“The role of the Speaker under Article 190 and 10th Schedule of Constitution is different. Therefore, the pendency of disqualification proceedings is not a bar to accept resignations,” he added.

Citing former Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav’s case, Rohatgi said that resignation was accepted notwithstanding disqualification proceedings, so Speaker did not consider it a bar then. Rohatgi said that he was not asking the court to quash the disqualification proceedings but he said he was against infringing of rights of legislators.

“Disqualification can go on. I am saying I don’t want to be an MLA. I don’t want to defect. I want to go back to the public and do whatever I want to do. It is my right to do what I want to do. Speaker is infringing that right of mine,” argued Mukul Rohatgi.

Rohtagi further added that the decision of a Speaker is to look into whether a legislator is being forced to resign is supposed to be beneficial to the legislator. The role of the Speaker is to make sure he is not being forced. The silence of the Speaker on resignations is deemed sanction said Rohtagi.

“The speaker is coercing me to continue, to sit and speak in a particular group of which I don’t want to be a part of,” said senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi.

Senior Advocate Rohtagi stated that the resignation does not require any inquiry unless the Speaker has credible material that there is coercion. Legislators are not bureaucrats or public servants that they have to give reasons for resignation, he added.

“Art. 190 says if the resignation is by hand and there is no other material, the Speaker has to take a decision as fast as possible. He cannot keep it pending,” Rohatgi.

“These people are before Supreme Court saying they have resigned, crying before TV they have resigned. And yet this is allowed to continue, this is ridiculous. In this case, the Speaker says the reason for resignation is to avoid disqualification. That does not mean it is involuntary. Hence, he cannot keep it pending,” argued Rohatgi.

Senior advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing on behalf of the Karnataka speaker said that resignation cannot be an escape route to disqualification proceedings. If trust vote is a day after and a legislator resigns against the interest of the party, he can be subjected to disqualification proceedings, said Singhvi.

“The act of disqualification is the act of defiance of the whip,” said Singhvi.

Singhvi said that the first step to start inquiry under Article 190 is for concerned MLA to appear before Speaker in person and the rebel MLAs met the speaker only on July 11. Singhvi claimed that eleven of the 15 MLAs handed over resignations personally to Speaker only on July 11 and four of the MLAs are yet to do so.  

The CJI questioned Singhvi’s claim asking on Speaker’s unavailability for an appointment which led to MLAs filing a petition in the top court. However, Singhvi claimed that it was factually wrong and Speaker has filed an affidavit to that effect that an appointment was not sought.

Chief Justice of India asked the Speaker to decide on the resignations in one week and then decide on the disqualifications.

Singhvi said that the court cannot direct the Speaker to take a decision to order Speaker to decide on resignations. “The Speaker has sought time to decide. According to Karnataka assembly rules, the resignation has to be in person. Disqualification and resignation cannot be unscrambled. Have to be decided by a common order,” Mr Singhvi said.

However, the bench said, “You cannot question our jurisdictional powers when we, to your benefit, had ordered a floor test, appointed a pro-tem Speaker in a midnight hearing. The exercise of jurisdiction of our powers depends only on self-restraint. Are you trying to restrict the power of the Supreme Court.”

Singhvi maintained that there is a direct link between the resignations and disqualification proceedings in this case and asked the bench to look at it independently. Singhvi reiterated that all resignations happened only on July 11 and all disqualification proceedings pre-date the resignations.

Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, a counsel for Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy appearing before the Supreme Court stated that the Speaker needs to find the reason behind the mass resignation. 

“Every MLA who went to Mumbai wants to be Minister. It is not an individual’s case but a pack of 10 MLAs. It is a matter to be decided by evening,” said Dhavan. 

Dhavan argued that a strategy of the other side has been clearly disclosed as the rebel MLAs have clearly stated their intentions of becoming ministers once resignations are accepted. So that motive is what Speaker has to go into, added Dhavan.

“It is the motive which is important. 15 people are hunting in a pack. They flew to Mumbai when they could have met the Speaker,” said Dhavan.

Similar to Singhvi, Rajeev Dhavan maintained that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to decide on the case. The two interim orders passed last week was in excess of this Court’s jurisdiction, said Dhavan.

He said that the Supreme Court Rules are clearly stating that it will not entertain a petition under Article 32 unless there is a fundamental right involved. Article 190 should be read along with the Tenth schedule, argued Dhavan.

Chief Minister Kumaraswamy’s counsel reiterated that the Supreme Court doesn’t have jurisdiction to pass interim orders asking the Speaker to maintain status quo on MLAs resignation or disqualification. “This is not Speaker vs Court. This is between CM and somebody who wants to become CM by bringing down govt,” Dhavan argued in the Court.

Rajeev Dhavan also made submissions on the doctrine of “political thicket”. Dhavan stated that the intent of the opposition is to defeat the government by luring numbers before the budget. “Political thicket doctrine does not say to Your Lordships that we can enter any political thicket we like,” said Dhavan.

Concluding his arguments, Rajeev Dhavan said that there has to be a full debate on the issue and there cannot be a truncated debate on this.

Countering the argument of the speaker that there was no fundamental right violated by not allowing them to resign, Mukul Rohatgi said that his right to resign and do what I want is being violated with speaker refusing to accept the resignations.

Constitutional Rules mandates the speaker to decide immediately provided it is genuine and voluntary, said Rohatgi. He added that the speaker has no mandate under the Constitution to go into my mind to find out why someone has resigned.

“Suppose Speaker does not decide on disqualification for 4 years, then will our resignations also be kept pending or what,” asked Rohatgi. Rohatgi said that this was a government which has lost majority and the Speaker only wants to prop up a government which is in minority.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Rajdeep Sardesai and India Today secure a gag order against social media user who had said they took 8 crores for Rhea interview

Issuing an order on India Today petition, the Delhi HC has ordered Twitter to suspend the man named Anurag Srivastava, and Google to remove the content from search results.

Jinnah’s ideology: Prof Brij Narain, a strong supporter of Pakistan’s creation, was hacked to death by an Islamist mob in Lahore in 1947

Prof Brij Narain, an enthusiastic exponent of Pakistan, was hacked to death in broad daylight by a Muslim mob even as he kept pleading them to stop ransacking his house in Lahore in the wake of partition .

India-China standoff: Indian army captures PLA soldier, probing espionage angle

The army stated that the PLA personnel will be handed over to the Chinese officials at Chushul-Moldo meeting point, following the completion of formalities.

If Congress comes back to power, it will be impossible to utter a word against them

This time, they will have a third and most potent weapon: technology and dominance in the digital space.

‘Uddhav Thackeray has formed a special team to bring down Republic TV, Arnab has to be locked up’: Explosive sting reveals MVA govt plot

"The strategy is to lock him (Arnab Goswami) behind bars. Nobody can save his channel from being banned," the Congress leader said.

Recently Popular

After Chinese phones blocking weather data for Arunachal and Ladakh, now Twitter shows Leh as part of China

Security analyst Nitin A Gokhale found that Twitter has labelled Leh in Ladakh as part of People's Republic of China (PRC)

In 2012 ‘out of town’ Salman Khan partied with Parambir Singh in Mumbai on day Bandra cops could not serve him Court summons for...

As reported by Mid-Day in 2012, Salman Khan and Parambir Singh were both found attending a Christmas party hosted by Sunny Dewan and his wife Anu Dewan in Mumbai. This when the Bandra cops claimed Khan was not in town.

During 26/11 Mumbai attack, Param Bir Singh refused to be on ground and take on terrorists, then Mumbai CP Hasan Gafoor had said

Hasan Gafoor, who was the Mumbai Commissioner of Police during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, had accused senior police officials, including Param Bir Singh of not taking on the terrorists.

TimesNow joined the Left in condemning Republic TV to hell, now, the Left is gunning for them too

The 'TRP scam' started off when Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh named Republic TV and hid the fact that the FIR which was filed, based on the Hansa Research Report, named India Today

Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami to sue Param Bir Singh for Rs 200 crore after Maha Govt’s admission in Mumbai High court

Maha Govt and Mumbai police distances itself from the allegations meted out at Republic TV by PC Param Bir Singh

Rajdeep Sardesai and India Today secure a gag order against social media user who had said they took 8 crores for Rhea interview

Issuing an order on India Today petition, the Delhi HC has ordered Twitter to suspend the man named Anurag Srivastava, and Google to remove the content from search results.
- Advertisement -

Days after an Islamist brutally beheaded a teacher, France Govt prepares to expel 231 religious extremists from the country

France is planning to come down hard on religious extremists after an Islamic youth beheaded a teacher recently

Congress, media target Varun Gandhi for unwillingness to speak to a stranger late at night: Here is who the man was and why he...

The Congress party has decided to go after BJP MP Varun Gandhi after a leaked version of his conversation found its way to the media.

India formally invites Australia to join the 2020 Malabar trilateral naval exercise, Australia confirms full participation: Read details

It will be the first time all members of the regional grouping known as the Quad will participate in the Malabar naval exercise

Rajasthan: Two minor girls gang-raped, police shift victims to the hospital in an auto-rickshaw instead of ambulance

Two minors gang-raped by six in Rajasthan. Police conducting raids at various locations in search of accused.

Dance moves by Dr Arup in Silchar, Assam wins Internet, inspires Hrithik Roshan

The Assam doctor's dance video has gone viral on social media, gaining thousands of likes and comments.

Family of girl murdered in terror attack condemns BBC for providing platform to terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, painting her as a victim: Read details

Ahlam Tamimi was convicted and sentenced for 16 years her role in a pizza parlour bombing in Jerusalem in 2001 before her imprisonment was cut short in a prisoner-exchange deal with Hamas

Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami to sue Param Bir Singh for Rs 200 crore after Maha Govt’s admission in Mumbai High court

Maha Govt and Mumbai police distances itself from the allegations meted out at Republic TV by PC Param Bir Singh

Frustrated with “rants” of Shashi Tharoor, MP Nishikant Dubey requests Lok Sabha speaker to put him in a committee where there is no Tharoor

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor yesterday ranted against Republic TV and Times Now, issuing 'moral sermons' to the corporates who financed the aforementioned news channels

Rajdeep Sardesai and India Today secure a gag order against social media user who had said they took 8 crores for Rhea interview

Issuing an order on India Today petition, the Delhi HC has ordered Twitter to suspend the man named Anurag Srivastava, and Google to remove the content from search results.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
464,907FollowersFollow
18,700SubscribersSubscribe