New Delhi, July 12: The Supreme Court on Friday barred Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar from changing status quo on either resignations or disqualification of Congress-JD(S) MLAs. The apex court will now hear the case again on Tuesday, July 16. Kumar, who refused to decide on rebel MLAs resignations yesterday, told Supreme Court that he is bound to decide on disqualification before taking a call on resignation letters.
Kumar alleged that legislators had resigned in order to avoid disqualification. "Two of the 10 MLAs had resigned after disqualification proceedings commenced…. Eight sent resignations before disqualification proceedings but did not appear in person with a resignation letter,” said Abhishek Singhvi, who was representing Karnataka Speaker to a bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi. HD Kumaraswamy On Karnataka's Political Crisis Says 'What is the Necessity for Me to Resign'.
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Hearing in the matter of rebel Karnataka MLAs: Supreme Court orders to maintain status quo, when the matter would be heard again on Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/gY5TrhoAnr
— ANI (@ANI) July 12, 2019
Singhvi also added the Speaker could not merely accept the resignations and has to make sure that the resignations are genuine. “MLAs handed over a fresh letter yesterday. The meeting was video-graphed, it shows the MLAs have admitted they never gave resignation personally to him, admitted never met him or sought an appointment to meet him,” he added.
Karnataka Speaker is yet to accept the resignations of 18 lawmakers. Earlier, he had rejected many letters on the grounds of the wrong format. So the MLAs wrote down fresh resignation letters in from of him on Thursday. Later, they flew back to Mumbai. The Speaker had been asked to inform the top court last night, but he said, "You can't expect me to work at lightning speed." He also asked the court for more time to examine the resignations.
If the resignations are accepted, the coalition government will come down to 100 and the majority mark will drop from 113 to 105. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 105 members and also the support of two independent MLAs will take its tally to 107.
Meanwhile, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy in the state Assembly session sought some time to improve majority. "After all these developments, I am seeking your permission and time to prove the majority in this session," he said.