The Supreme Court will take up on Tuesday the matter of a purported conversation of Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa in which he allegedly admitted role played by party president Amit Shah in fuelling the dissidence that led to fall of JD(S)-Cong government in the state a few months back.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned the matter before a bench presided over by Justice N V Ramana and said this would have a material bearing on adjudication of the writ petitions filed by disqualified MLAs. When Justice Ramana, referring to the chief minister’s alleged remarks, said those in public life are bound to make all kinds of statements, Sibal insisted that the tape recorded conversation be taken on record. Justice Ramana then said he would request the CJI to set up the special bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari on Tuesday.
On Saturday after a purported video of Yediyurappa surfaced, Congress and JD-S accused the BJP of having misused government agencies for allegedly poaching their MLAs in the state. Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who headed the coalition government for 14 months, said the people will judge the BJP. He also said the Chief Minister has no right to hold a constitutional post. In the video that has gone viral, Yediyurappa purportedly said that the decision of the 17 JD-S and Congress MLAs to resign, which led to the fall of HD Kumaraswamy-led government in July, was taken by the Central leadership of the BJP and that the party workers should honour the “sacrifice” of the rebel MLAs.
The video was allegedly shot during his meeting with the party leaders in Hubli on October 26. “Today, I did not feel that you people are trying to save this government after the way you spoke… We did not speak about the issue of disqualified MLAs till now because we are expecting the Supreme Court judgment. We are expecting that they may get relief from the court and they will get the chance to contest,” the Chief Minister is heard saying in the video.
Following their resignations, a number of Congress and JD(S) MLAs stayed at a hotel in Mumbai. BS Yediyurappa took oath as Chief Minister on July 26 after the coalition government led by Kumaraswamy failed to win the trust vote.
—India Legal Bureau