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The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a status quo in the case of 10 rebel Karnataka MLAs accusing Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar for not accepting their resignation.

A bench comprising of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta, Aniruddha Bose said: “No decision to be made neither on resignation nor on disqualification.”

At today’s hearing, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi first started the arguments and said that the MLAs flew from Bombay to Karnataka to tender the resignation but the speaker said “why did they go to the Court. I was here why did they not come to me”,

The speaker has 10 resignation letters and it will take 10 seconds to read each letter but he wants time to read the letter, said Rohatgi.

“From July 1, these people are representing their resignations but the Speaker has not decided anything. The idea is to keep the resignation pending so that when they vote against the party they are liable for disqualification,” added Rohatgi and sought contempt notice against the Speaker.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi appearing for Speaker countered the arguments of Rohatgi and said: “There are certain requirements for resignation procedure. Why should a person who is resigning anyway be scared of disqualification? It is to evade the constitutional content.”

CJI interjected Singhvi and said: “Because they will no longer remain ministers.”

Singhvi replied: “The speaker has no intention of questioning the authority of the court but the opposite party is only lampooning and making fun of everything.”

Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan appearing for Chief Minsiter of Karnataka HD Kumaraswamy said: “There is not a word in this application that talks about violation of the constitution. The speaker has acted in a mala fide manner says the petition however would the court not hear the speaker on this point?”

“The Chief Minister has been accused of acting mala fide and in a concerted manner. According to my learned friend there is something wrong in the speaker saying that he wants to read the letters and seeks time. Is the speaker not entitled to seek time for the protection of the tenth schedule,” said Dhavan and handed over the written explanation given by the speaker to the Court.

Dhavan further argued: “The speaker says that he will decide the resignation at the earliest. I have not known any case where a petition has been entertained under Article 32 except one Haryana Legislative Assembly case where 4 months time had been given. The court accept with full humility that the speaker will decide the resignation at the earliest.”

The bench concluded: “Apart from questions of maintainability in the writ petition, questions of substantial importance has also been raised. Status quo of the present 10 petitioners to be maintained. No decision to be made neither on resignation nor on disqualification. Matter to be considered in the next hearing,” and listed the matter for next hearing to July 16.

—India Legal Bureau  

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