SC tells Karnataka Speaker `no decision till Jul 16’

The Supreme Court has decided to hear Karnataka rebel MLAs’ petition on Tuesday even as it barred the Speaker from taking any decision on either resignations of the lawmakers or their disqualification till then.

The court also observed that the case before it raises larger question related to various constitutional provisions, including the kind of directions that can be issued by a constitutional court to a constitutional authority, in this case the Speaker.

Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, who had refused to decide on the resignations by rebel legislators yesterday, during the hearing told the Supreme Court, today, that he was constitutionally bound to decide on the disqualification petitions before he takes a call on the resignation letters. He also alleged that the legislators had resigned 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 resignation letter,” Abhishek Singhvi, who is representing Karnataka Speaker in the top court, told a bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

Singhvi also underscored that the law and constitution made it clear that the Speaker could not merely accept the resignations and had to ascertain if resignations were 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 any appointment to meet him,” he added.

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