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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Division in Congress over court ruling on Karnataka rebels

Singhvi added that the Supreme Court has empowered the speaker to act on the disqualification petitions moved by the Congress.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2019 01:12 IST
HT  Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Questioning the ruling, he asked, “Does this mean Court can interfere with the working of the State Legislature by deciding when a Whip will be enforced? And abandonment of the Basic Structure doctrine of Separation of Powers?”
Questioning the ruling, he asked, “Does this mean Court can interfere with the working of the State Legislature by deciding when a Whip will be enforced? And abandonment of the Basic Structure doctrine of Separation of Powers?”(HT Photo)
         

The Congress on Wednesday appeared divided over the Supreme Court order that 15 rebel MLAs of Karnataka’s Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance who have submitted their resignations cannot be compelled to participate in assembly proceedings.

While Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala termed the order a “terrible judicial precedent”, his party colleague and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi welcomed it.

In a series of tweets, Surjewala said, “Supreme Court’s order nullifying the Whip and by extension, operation of Constitution’s Xth Schedule to punish MLAs betraying the public mandate, sets a terrible judicial precedent! Blanket protection to MLA’s, who are driven not by ideology but by far baser concerns, is unheard-of.”

Questioning the ruling, he asked, “Does this mean Court can interfere with the working of the State Legislature by deciding when a Whip will be enforced? And abandonment of the Basic Structure doctrine of Separation of Powers?”

“Tragic that Supreme Court didn’t appreciate the context and designed history of defections to subvert democratic mandates by Modi government over last 5 years. Supreme Court should recall own judgement of May 2016 striking down the illegal attempt of BJP in Uttarakhand to form government,” added the Congress leader.

But Singhvi, who appeared for Karnataka assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, told reporters that the Supreme Court did not set any deadline for the speaker to decide on the resignations.

“As a political party, we have emerged victorious,” he said.

“The court says we should not fetter the speaker in any manner. He may decide any time he wants and any way that he wants,” Singhvi said, calling it a “protective order for the future” till the court finally decides the matter.

Singhvi added that the Supreme Court has empowered the speaker to act on the disqualification petitions moved by the Congress. The Congress leader said the whip will come into play when voting on the confidence motion takes place. “Voting will happen only when the discussion gets over,” he added.

First Published: Jul 18, 2019 01:12 IST