The Supreme Court will deliver its order in connection with the Karnataka’s rebel MLAs case tomorrow at 10:30 am. The top court today reserved its order after a very long hearing in the case that saw lawmakers and Speaker making claims and counter-claims. “Speaker bound by the Constitution rules and they say 'decide now', 'then and there' resignation of MLAs,” senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said as he appeared on behalf of the lawmakers. However, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to pass interim orders asking Speaker to maintain status quo.
During the hearing, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi observed that after the Supreme Court gave an elevated position to the Speaker and what happened in last 20-30 years, "a serious rethinking is required on this elevated position of Speaker." Appearing for the Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that, “"All the disqualification petitions pre-date their resignation since the first time these MLAs properly handed over their resignation was only July 11."
The rebel MLAs told the court that the Speaker kept their resignation pending just to disqualify them and there was nothing wrong in resigning to escape disqualification. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the rebel MLAs, submitted before the bench that the Speaker can be directed to decide on the resignation of the MLAs by 2 PM and he can take a call on their disqualification later.
The apex court, which was dealing with the plea of 10 rebel MLAs on July 12, will now be hearing five more lawmakers who have sought identical relief that Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar accept their resignations as well. The five MLAs -- Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraj, Munirathna and Roshan Baig -- mentioned their application before a bench of Chief Justice Gogoi and Justice Gupta Monday seeking impleadment as parties to the pending plea on which it was ordered that the speaker would not take any decision till Tuesday on the resignations and disqualifications.
The top court had on Friday restrained the Speaker from taking any decision till July 16 on the resignation and disqualification of the rebel MLAs. The top court had said an incidental question that would arise in the matter is the kind and extent of the directions that should be issued by a constitutional court to another constitutional functionary, which in the present case happens to be the Speaker of the Assembly.