Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy in Supreme Court: Governor Cannot Give Directives on Floor Test
Kumaraswamy (Photo Credits: ANI)

New Delhi, July 19: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday moved the Supreme Court challenging Governor Vajubhai Vala's directives to him to prove his majority in the Assembly saying he cannot dictate to the House the manner in which the trust vote should be taken up. In a petition filed before the court, he also sought a clarification that its July 17 order allowing freedom to the rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs freedom from participating in the trust vote in the Assembly does not curb the right of his party to issue a whip to the MLAs.

Referring to the direction by Governor Vajubhai Vala yesterday that the confidence vote should held before 1.30 pm on Friday, the chief minister said "it is respectfully submitted that no such direction could have been issued by the Hon'ble Governor when the confidence motion has already been initiated. HD Kumaraswamy Takes a Dig at BJP Says, Is It Possible to Save a Government by Black Magic?

"The debates on the motion are currently ongoing and the House is in seisin (possession) of the confidence motion. The Hon'ble Speaker has also opined that the Division will take place only at the end of the debate in the debate.

"In these circumstances, the Hon'ble Governor cannot dictate to the House the manner in which the debate of the confidence motion has to be taken up."Kumaraswamy said he has already written to the Governor in this regard on Friday informing him that the house was already considering the confidence motion and the debates are currently ongoing.

"However, the Hon'ble Governor has again sent a communication that the trust vote should be held before 6 pom on 19.07.2019. The aforesaid directions of the Hon'ble Governor are completely contrary to the well-settled law laid down by this Hon'ble Court in relation to the Governors powers. The directiions of the Hon'ble Governor are ex-facie in contravention of this Hon'ble Court in Nabam Rebia and Bamang Felix vs Dy Speaker 2016," he said.

The Chief Minister also contended in the petition that the Governor cannot issue a communication to him to prove his majority within a deadline. Referring to the July 17 order, the petition said, "Clarify/direct that the order dated 17.07.2019 to the exten that '....ought not to be compelled to participate in the proceedings ongoing session of the House and an option should be given to them that they can take part in the said proceedings or to opt to remain out of the same....' does not refer to the rights of a political party to proceed under Para 2 (1)(b) of the Tenth Schedule," the petition filed by Kumaraswamy as a Janatha Dal-S President said.

He submitted that as a result of the July 17 order, his Constitutional rights under the anti-defection law are affected. With 37 MLAs in the Assembly, the chief minister said a political party under the Tenthy Schedule has a constitutional right to issue a whip to its legislators.

"The exercise of this right under the Constitution is not circumscribed by any condition nor can it be subkject to any restrictive qua timet orders even prior to the issuance of the whip."More importantly, any enquiry for the purposes of the Tenth Schedule is a proceeding of the legislature of the State within the meaning of Article 212 of the Constitution," the petition said.