5 more Karnataka rebel MLAs move SC, seek early decision on resignations
The five rebels are Anand Singh, Munirathna, Roshan Baig, M.T.B. Nagaraj and K. Sudhakar.Updated: Jul 13, 2019 20:39 IST
As Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy prepares for a floor test to prove government’s majority in the state assembly, five more rebel MLAs rushed to the Supreme Court on Saturday seeking the top court’s intervention and direction to the Speaker to maintain status quo on the issue of resignation or disqualification by the MLAs.
Karnataka MLAs, Anand Singh, Dr K Sudhakar, N Nagaraj, Munirathna and Roshan Baig filed a joint petition in the top court saying that despite submitting their resignations at different dates to the Karnataka Assembly speaker, he was not accepting the same.
In their petition, the five MLAs said, that they are identically placed as the 10 rebel MLAs who filed a petition earlier this week and they should also be covered and have the benefit of the orders passed by the court in that petition.
A group of 10 rebel Congress-Janata Dal Secular legislators who sent their resignation letters last week had approached the Supreme Court on Wednesday, complaining that Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar was slipping up on his constitutional duty and delaying acceptance of their letters.
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On Friday, while hearing a petition by 10 rebel MLAs, a bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi ordered the Speaker to maintain status quo and said: “Neither the issue of resignation nor disqualification will be decided. This is being done to enable the court to decide on the larger issue.”
The court said it will take up the case for hearing on July 16 to “enable it to decide on the larger issue,” which is to what extent can a constitutional court issue directions to a constitutional authority (the Speaker).
The rebel MLAs in their petition filed on Saturday allege that they are being threatened to support the government. “It is pertinent to state herein that the Chief Minister has announced on July 12 on the floor of the house that they would be seeking a floor test. It is submitted that despite the Applicants having resigned, the Applicants are being threatened to support the government on the threat of disqualification,” read their petition.
The MLAs in their petition said that they “apprehend for their safety. It is pertinent to state herein that when some of the Applicants had sought to submit their resignation on 10. 7 .19, they were manhandled within the assembly and were confined. So much so, that they were rescued by police personnel from within the Legislative Assembly.”
The MLAs argue that “Resignation is in accordance with Article 190 and rules of business of the Karnataka assembly. The act of submitting letter in person shows voluntary nature and genuineness of the resignations there is no need for further inquiry and must be accepted forthwith. To obviate any other doubts, the applicants are also filing affidavits alongwith the present application stating that they have resigned voluntarily and their resignations may be accepted”.
The petition further said that “on the one hand the Hon’ble Speaker is not acting upon the resignations and on the other hand a whip has been issued by the Governing party threatening disqualification for failure to attend the legislature proceedings starting from 12. 7 .19”.
First Published: Jul 13, 2019 16:11 IST